The government of President Adama Barrow has on Friday signed a fresh deal with Nigeria “On military cooperation to tackle insurgency” in The Gambia.
The Memorandum of understanding signed on Friday shapes the legal framework between the Governments of Nigeria and the Gambia “To tackle insurgency, enhance networking in Intelligence sharing, capacity building and emplace robust counter trans-national strategy to decisively clear the effrontery,” according to sections written in the MOU, quoted by the Special Assistance to Nigeria’s Minister of Defence, Mohammed Abdulkadri.
In a statement on Friday in Abuja, Mohammed Abdulkadiri revealed that Nigeria’s Minister of Defence Maj. Gen Bashir Magashi and the Gambian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mohamadou Musa Njie, were the signatories of the Memorandum of understanding for both countries.
President Adama Barrow has recently ordered the National Guards of The Gambia military to carry out policing missions purportedly “to prevent and stop crime.
With the political tension heating up ahead of the December 4th Presidential elections, it is no secret that President Adama Barrow and his government are anticipating the possibility of civil unrest in The Gambia.
The question is, will the Abuja MoU be called into force by the Gambian government to handle the perceived threats through the support of Nigeria’s military assistance in quelling “insurgency“? The only answer for now from Abuja is that “The two countries have pledged to operationalize the terms and conditions of the MoU” they have signed.
The Nigerian Special Assistant to his country’s Defence Minister said on Friday that Nigeria’s Minister of Defence Maj. Gen Bashir Magashi “Agreed that the MoU could not have come at a better and more auspicious time than now when both countries are experiencing insurgency.”
Maj. Gen Magashi is quoted by his aid as saying that “Nigeria has been playing big brotherly roles to the Republic of the Gambia in stabilizing her politics and resolving its electoral impasse in 2016. The audacity of the adversaries threatening the corporate existence of the two coastal nations who share common Membership of African Union, ECOWAS and geographical similarities within the West African sub-region“.
“Nigeria currently deploys over two hundred forces serving in the ECOWAS’ ECOMIG Mission in the Gambia, and presently enlisted Gambian Military officers,” he said.