by Lekan Olanrewaju
Just last month, an Italian citizen who was held hostage by the Boko Haram sect was murdered in captivity. However, the Italian government seems to bear no grudges over the unfortunate incident, as they have announced their readiness to help Nigeria deal with the security threat.
Italian special envoy on humanitarian emergencies, Margherita Boniver, disclosed this as she and other Italian delegates were received by the Deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu in Abuja.
She spoke about the collaboration between the governments of the two countries “on a number of specific issues, including terrorism, human trafficking, to roll back poverty, to enhance inter-religious dialogue and the full observation of human rights.”
This comes as the US Embassy issued a warning about possible attacks in Abuja in the near future. The Nigerian Information Minister, Labaran Maku, however enjoined citizens not to panic, saying: “Whereas we believe that every country has a duty to secure its citizens and take decisions that will ensure the safety of their nationals, we have always appealed to such embassies and agencies not to create public panic in our country.”
“Our security agencies have over the last year increased their capacity to respond to some of the threats,” he continued. “Particularly within this city and several other cities.”
The Deputy Senate President meanwhile responded to the Italian special envoy, describing the “unfortunate incident that led to the death of the Italian citizen on Nigeria soil” as “a great taboo.”.
He also assured that the government was making moves to curtail the insecurity in the country. “In the 2012 budget, we have made sufficient budgetary allocations to provide sufficient security architecture that will help us to combat terrorism.” he said.