Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Dr. Ibrahim Abubakar Kana, yesterday, said Nigeria would strengthen military ties with Zimbabwe. He made the pledge when he hosted a delegation from Zimbabwe National Defence University, who were on a strategic cum familiarisation tour of Abuja.
According to him, Nigeria and Zimbabwe have bilateral military relations, struck in the early 1980s, when the South African nation gained political independence during the administration of Nigeria’s late Second Republic President, Alhaji Shehu Shagari.
Noting that the most populous black nation played a central role in the independence struggle, Kana noted that there was no official agreement or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) binding the relationship.
He said a draft MoU on defence cooperation could be initiated between the two countries to boost training of personnel of Zimbabwean armed forces in Nigeria, exchange of staff and students from military institutions of the two nations, among others.
Earlier, leader of delegation, Brig.-Gen. Tendai Elliot Stanley, commended Kana on the existing military cooperation. He said the team comprised 28 members – a leader, 10 directing staff and 17 participants.
The military officer appreciated the permanent secretary for the audience, adding that their tour of countries was to seek information on activities of the defence sector.
In his vote of thanks, Lt.-Col. Isaac Bukaro lauded the ministry for hosting them. He said the knowledge they have gained from the interactive section would be strategically put to practice at the defence university.
Thereafter, there was a brief presentation by Deputy Director, Joint Services Department, Blessing Akpotu, to acquaint the delegation on Nigerian national defence policy.