President Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan of the federal republic of Nigeria is scheduled to travel to the United Kingdom on Wednesday morning for an International Conference on Somalia – scheduled to hold at Lancaster House, London the following day on Thursday, February 23.
The conference is slated to be attended by heads of governments or their representatives from forty countries along with international organizations.
The conference is expected to address a range of issues concerning security, piracy, counter-terrorism, political processes, humanitarian challenges and the need for global coordination and handling of long-standing Somalia crises. Concerned countries, particularly, the western block that view the growing insecurity in Somalia as detrimental to economic activity for the maritime business have depended on the cooperation of the nearby Kenya to checkmate the sea pirates from Somalia but Kenya appears overwhelmed. Nigeria and other large African countries, as gathered, may be called upon during the conference to chip-in to assist alleviate the security problems in Somalia.
Somalia poses a peculiar interest to the President of Nigeria in its battle against the Islamic terrorist group, the Boko Haram. Intelligence information has placed most of the training activities of the members of the Islamic group at the training camps in Somalia where the late Al Quada leader, Osama Bin Laden had erected terrorist training camps.
It is not certain whether the President will discuss the Boko Haram issue at the conference in London but it is certain that President Jonathan will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street. Of which he will then return to Abuja on Friday morning, February 24.
President Jonathan will be accompanied by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Olugbenga Ashiru and the National Security Adviser, Gen. Andrew Azazi.