President Muhammadu Buhari has included Nigeria in the coalition of Islamic states – Muslim countries – against terrorism which is spearheaded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The president made this known in an interview aired during the weekend on the international satellite news channel, Aljareeza.
The president said, “we are part of it because we have got terrorists in Nigeria that everybody knows which claims that they are Islamic,” speaking with reference to Boko Haram activities that has sent over 20,000 persons to early grave since its inception in 2009.
Saudi Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman had on December 15, 2015 announced the formation of a coalition of 34 mainly Muslim countries, including Egypt and Turkey, to coordinate the fight against terrorist organisations.
The coalition, otherwise known as the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT), is to share information, train, equip and provide forces if necessary for the fight against Islamic State militants and other terror groups. Buhari decided to include Nigeria into the coalition after a private meeting with Saudi King, Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz.
However, the decision to include Nigeria in the Islamic coalition has been greeted with reactions as several Nigerians frowned at the inclusion of the country to the 34-member coalition, called ISMAT. Bear in mind, Nigeria is nearly equally divided between Christianity and Islam.