Despite the lengthy delays in forming a cabinet, President Muhammadu Buhari has been much quicker to appoint his top military and security officers and to push ahead with a series of bilateral and multilateral summits. Not only did he chair the regional leaders' meeting to tackle the Burkina Faso coup, having unequivocally condemned it five days earlier, he has agreed on the agenda for a new regional security conference with French President François Hollande. The plan for this meeting, aimed at strengthening military coordination and sharing intelligence about Boko Haram's operations in Nigeria and its Francophone neighbours, was discussed during Buhari's trip to Paris on 14-16 September.
Flanked by his National Security Advisor, General Babagana Monguno,
Buhari told French officials that Nigeria would be taking a far greater
role in regional security. Buhari talks about the 'concentric circles'
of Nigeria's foreign policy, which puts peace and security on its
borders as the top priority.
France, traditionally wary of a militarily assertive Nigeria, now
its forces overstretched in Africa as problems multiply in its
operations in Mali and Central African Republic, so it
encourage Buhari. Several other governments, such as Kenya, South
Africa, Britain and the
United States, are also keen to
security matters with Buhari when he arrives in New York this week for
the United Nations General Assembly meetings.