MATAWALLE ATTENDS DEFENCE MINISTERS CONFERENCE IN SAUDI ARABIA

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Minister of State for Defence Bello Matawalle has traveled to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to participate in a conference of Defence Ministers from Africa, Europe, and Arab nations. The meeting, set to commence on February 2 in Riyadh, will be attended by defence ministers to discuss strategies and issues related to security in their respective regions.

Matawalle’s aide on new media, Yariman Ganuwa, announced the visit via a Facebook post, noting that the minister would also perform the lesser hajj (Umrah) and pray for peace and success in Nigeria during his time in the holy land.

This visit follows Matawalle’s participation in a two-day roundtable on security in northern Nigeria, organised by the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) in Abuja from January 24-25, 2024. The roundtable, chaired by General Abdussalami Abubakar GCFR (Rtd), brought together key figures to address the persistent issue of insecurity in Northern Nigeria.

Notable attendees included His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Dr. Sa’adu Abubakar; Executive Governors from various states, and other distinguished individuals from various sectors.

Matawalle’s tenure as Minister of State for Defence has been marked by a departure from previous administrations’ practices. He ordered an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing by a serving Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, accused of involvement in corrupt practices, which include oil theft and contract-splitting fraud.

While the Navy authorities dismissed the allegations as false, Matawalle pledged to investigate the matter, emphasising the Ministry of Defence’s commitment to upholding integrity and accountability within the Nigerian Armed Forces.

He requested that a level of patience be exercised as the investigative process unfolds, stressing the importance of avoiding premature judgments, and maintaining trust in the nation’s security institutions.

The allegations against Vice Admiral Ogalla are under scrutiny; reflecting Matawalle’s commitment to ensuring transparency and justice within the defence sector.

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