President Emmanuel Macron of France has said that his country cannot help Nigeria in particular and Africa in general to solve its insecurity problems.
Mr Macron said the solution is for African governments to organise themselves and get rid of “jihadists”.
The French president spoke Tuesday at a joint press conference with President Muhammadu Buhari after holding a bilateral talks at the presidential villa Abuja.
Reacting to a question on what France can do to help Nigeria solve its insecurity challenges, Mr Macron said, “First of all, I think the main plan is an African plan and France is not the one to solve or fix African situations.”
Mr Macron said, “So what we want to do is that we will intervene and maintain our presence in Africa and Sahel to fight against terrorism especially in Mali and in the region.
“And we will stay as long as it is requested by our friends especially Mali as we discussed yesterday (Monday) about this issue.
“But what is important to me is how the different African governments organise themselves to fight against terrorism and get rid of these people and especially jihadism,” he said.
Mr Macron said African countries must come together and put pressure on terror groups.
He said he had a meeting on Monday in Mauritania with five countries in the Sahel region.
He said the meeting discussed about forthcoming operations with a view to tackling insurgent groups.
“Now, what we have to do to better understand is, why many people are convinced to join these jihadists and these terrorists, that is what we discussed and this is the second part of your question, because of some times the economic and ethnic crisis.
“And that is why it is very important to build not just the security approach but the stabilization approach at the same time, to provide new opportunities to these people and convey two massages: your governments will take care of you, I mean provide security and secondly your governments can provide opportunities to you.
“And the best support is not to join crazy people and buy a bunch of guns and do crazy things. It is not opportunity to have any more opportunities, I think is very important.
“That is why I want to accompany different governments and leaders whose main objectives is precisely to provide economic projects. I would say inclusive economic and cultural projects, where you provide the way for your young people to get education, jobs as well as to be proud of what you are. I think is is extremely important.
“Because, in a certain way, what we are experiencing today in Europe is also threatened by terrorism, that is a moral crisis, that is cultural crisis. So is not just about security, that for me is the way to proceed.”
Mr. Macron also pledged to increase the cooperation between Nigeria and France in tackling security challenges occasioned by the activities of terror groups Boko Haram and ISIS.