A second Regional Security Summit of countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and their foreign allies has come to an end, with the Heads of State and government pledging to uphold the recommendations.
Heads of State of Republic of Benin, Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, Niger, Senegal, Togo and Equatorial Guinea, met on Saturday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital with the French President, Francois Hollande, and held talks that would strengthen efforts to kick the Boko Haram out of the region.
The Summit ended with a resounding call on member states to consolidate the gains already made against the Boko Haram terrorist group in the region since the first similar summit was held in Paris in 2014.
Presenting the recommendations of the summit to the Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, stressed the need for funding of the Multi-National Joint Task Force.
Stabilising Lives Of Returnees
The document put together after series of security experts meetings that started on Thursday also recommendeds that member states should re-double their efforts to ensure the release of the adopted Chibok girls.
The host, President Muhamadu Buhari, reiterated the commitment of his administration to ridding the last vestige of Boko Haram from the region and also ensure the safe rescue of the Chibok girls.
Addressing the gathering in French, both the President of France and presidents of member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission pledge their support for the recommendations of the summit.
Meanwhile, both the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the United Kingdom, Philip Hammond, and the United States Deputy Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, present at the meeting urge governments of the region to work at stabilising lives of returnees in the liberated communities.
Mr Hammond also held talks with President Buhari focused on economic development, anti-corruption and security support to tackle Boko Haram.
Having recorded much success in the counter insurgency crusade in the region, citizens from member countries and especially Nigeria hope that the meeting will not only help to stamp out insurgency from the region but also lead to the rescue of the Chibok girls.
The girls were abducted from their schools dormitory in Chibok, Borno State, on April 14, 2014.
A latest video of the girls was released on April 13 by the terrorists group pushing for the establishment of an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the region.
While the troops have continued to increase counter-terrorism operations in the north-east, another level of insecurity is brewing in different states of the nation – herdsmen attacking communities.
They have killed scores of recent and President Buhari has ordered security forces to tackle the increasing threat to lives of farmers and communities.
The President also gave an assurance that he would fish out the herdsmen attacking communities.
He had linked the arms proliferation by herders to the crisis in Libya and the training of some personnel in the Sahel by Gaddafi.
There have been insinuations that the herders were armed bandits fleeing the northeast in the heat of counter-terrorism operations, but Mr Onyeama, had asked citizens to desist from linking recent attacks by cattle herdsmen to the Boko Haram insurgents.
Mr Onyeama stressed on Friday that there was no evidence available to security operatives suggest any linkages.