ECOWAS Leaders Set Up Committee On Nigeria’s Land Border Closure

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The Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government has constituted a committee to study and make a full report on the Nigerian government’s land border closure with neighbouring countries.

A statement from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said the committee is headed by President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso.

Shehu explained that the decision to set up the committee was agreed on Sunday night in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at an extraordinary session of ECOWAS leaders convened on the margins of the 33rd AU Summit to discuss the issue and other pressing regional matters.

According to him, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, who travelled to Ethiopia with President Muhammadu Buhari and other, briefed reporters after the three-hour closed-door session.

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“The President of Burkina Faso is charged with undertaking a full study of the situation, make a report and then we take it from there,” Onyeama was quoted as saying in the statement.

Asked when the report would be presented to ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, he replied, “As soon as possible.

“There are no timelines; but he (Kabore) is supposed to start very quickly, study the situation from all the affected countries and present his report.”

The minister revealed that the meeting also discussed West Africa′s new single currency – the Eco – and the situation in Guinea Bissau after the presidential election.

He affirmed that nothing has changed in respect of Nigeria’s position on the Eco currency.

Onyeama explained that Nigeria’s position was that the convergence criteria have not been met by the majority of the countries, stressing that there has to be an extension of time on the take-off of the single currency.

On Guinea Bissau, the Minister said ECOWAS leaders recognised that there was an appeal of the presidential election result and they were waiting for the Supreme Court decision on the matter.

President Buhari and other leaders in the region attended the meeting chaired by the ECOWAS Chairman, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic.

SERAP Drags FG, Cross River To ECOWAS Court Over ‘Sham Trial Of Agba Jalingo’

SERAP Threatens To Sue UI, AAUA Over Increased Fees

 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has dragged the government of Nigeria and Cross River state government of governor Ben Ayade to ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja “over the prolonged, arbitrary detention; unfair prosecution; persecution, and sham trial of journalist Agba Jalingo.”

Jalingo, who is the publisher of CrossRiverWatch, was arrested on August 22 over a report alleging that Mr Ayade diverted N500 million belonging to the state.

In the suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/10/2020 filed last week at the ECOWAS Court, SERAP is arguing that: “The sole objective of the government of Nigeria and the Cross River state government of governor Ben Ayade is to perpetually keep Agba Jalingo in arbitrary detention and to silence him simply for expressing critical views and carrying out his legitimate job as journalist.”

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According to the suit: “This is not the first time the government of Nigeria and the Cross River state government of governor Ben Ayade have taken actions to intimidate, harass and suppress journalists through the instrumentality of trumped-up charges and use of overly broad and unjust laws, including section 24 of Nigeria’s Cybercrime Act, 2015, which provides for the offence of cyber-stalking.”

The suit filed on SERAP’s behalf by its solicitor Kolawole Oluwadare, states: “the government of Nigeria and Cross-River state government are using vague laws that give officials massive discretion to undermine human rights. They are punishing Agba Jalingo and other journalists and silencing them for their reporting, thereby undermining Nigerians’ right to information, to public participation, to open and democratic governance in the country.”

The suit read, in part: “If freedom of expression and media freedom are to have true meaning in a democracy, these rights necessarily must include the freedom to criticize the government and its functionaries. Indeed, the idea of a democracy is that the people are encouraged to express their criticisms, even their wrong-headed criticisms, of elected government institutions, in the expectation that this process will improve the process of government.”

“The harassment, intimidation, unfair prosecution and arbitrary detention of Agba Jalingo simply for exercising his human rights violate Nigeria’s international human rights obligations, including under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights to which the country is a state party.”

“Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right and full enjoyment of this right is central to achieving individual freedom and to developing democracy. It is not only the cornerstone of democracy but indispensable to a thriving civil society”

“In circumstances of public debate concerning public figures in the political domain and public institutions, the value placed by human rights treaties upon uninhibited expression is particularly high.”

“The government of Nigeria and the Cross-River state government of governor Ben Ayade have via the charges of terrorism and treason and denial of bail to Agba Jalingo, violated and continued to breach his human rights.”

“SERAP contends that Agba Jalingo is being unfairly prosecuted because of his reporting in his online news outlet, Cross River Watch, which alleged that the Cross Rivers State Governor diverted the sum of N500million, belonging to the Cross-River Micro Finance Bank.”

“On 22nd August 2019, the Nigeria Police, through its special anti-robbery squad arrested Agba Jalingo. On 23rd August 2019, Mr. Jalingo was transferred to a detention facility run by the anti-cult and anti-kidnapping police in Calabar, the capital of Nigeria’s southern Cross River state and was held there for days before his arraignment on 31st August, 2019.”

SERAP is seeking the following reliefs:

1. A DECLARATION that the actions by the government of Nigeria and the Cross River state government of governor Ben Ayade to continue to arbitrarily detain and unfairly prosecute Agba Jalingo using the Cybercrimes Act, sections 41 & 59 of Nigeria’s Criminal Code Act and sections 1 & 17 (2)(a)&(b) of the Terrorism (Prevention, Amendment) Act, violate his human rights, as guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

2. A DECLARATION that the arbitrary detention and unfair prosecution of Agba Jalingo by the government of Nigeria and the Cross River state government of governor Ben Ayade is illegal and unlawful, as it amounts to breaches of Nigerian international obligations to respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights to freedom of expression and information and media freedom, guaranteed under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

3. AN ORDER directing the government of Nigeria and the Cross-River state government of governor Ben Ayade to immediately and unconditionally release Agba Jalingo and drop all charges against him, consistent with Nigeria’s international human rights obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights

4. AN ORDER directing directing the government of Nigeria and the Cross-River state government of governor Ben Ayade and/or their agents to provide Agba Jalingo with effective remedies and reparation, including adequate compensation, restitution, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition

5. FOR SUCH FURTHER orders as the Honorable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this suit.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit.

ECOWAS Mobilising Own Resources To Combat Terrorism, Says Buhari

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says ECOWAS member countries are mobilizing their own resources to combat the scourge of terrorism.

He said this on Saturday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at a High-Level meeting of the African Union Peace and Security Council on the State of Peace and Security in Africa during the 33rd AU Summit.

While commending the move he called for new strategies by the Union to effectively prevent, manage and resolve conflicts in the face of new challenges.

Speaking further, the president said Nigeria is proud to continue to serve as a strong contributor to the peace roles played by the regional bloc.

”In Burkina Faso, we (ECOWAS) pledged to mobilize one billion US dollars to address the challenges of insecurity in our region and the Sahel. In Guinea Bissau, ECOWAS successfully midwifed the general elections.

”Nigeria along with ECOWAS member states led in the restoration of democracy and peace in the Gambia,” he said, while welcoming the collaborative leadership of the AU with other Regional Economic Communities in resolving conflicts on the continent.

”Nigeria condemns, in the strongest terms, the perpetrators of terrorism in Libya, the Sahel, Lake Chad Basin, and parts of the Horn of Africa.

”We reiterate that efforts must continue to be pooled to mitigate this dreadful violence and secure the future of our continent,” he said.

On new strategies to resolve conflicts on the continent, the President said: ”The AU must strengthen its own capacity for mediation and develop an effective intervention roadmap.”

He added that more emphasis should be placed on promoting national dialogue, reconciliation and social cohesion in order to rally all actors towards sustainable peace.

Meanwhile, the president announced that Nigeria has fulfilled its financial obligations to the AU Peace Fund up to 2019, pledging to continue investing in peace and security on the continent.

He reminded the meeting that drawing from the Kigali and Johannesburg Assembly Decisions, the fund is structured for the internal peace support arrangements within the continent and not as resources to subsidise the mandate of the UN Security Council.

”In this regard, my delegation will always fervently contest attempts to make Africa subsidize the primary responsibility of the UN as clearly provided in it Charter,” he said.

President Buhari also welcomed the decision of the AU Peace and Security Council (AUPSC) to adopt the regional stabilisation strategy for the Lake Chad Basin and the renewal of mandates of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and the G5 Sahel Joint Force.

He told the meeting that Nigeria was very encouraged by the resolution of the continent’s standing decision-making body for conflict prevention, management and resolution, on the Lake Chad Basin.

“We are hopeful that the Inter Water Basin Transfer Initiative for the recharging of the Lake Chad will address some of the drivers of terrorism, particularly the impact of climate change and inter-communal clashes over access to natural resources.

“We equally call on the Assembly to direct the full implementation of these AU-inspired initiatives,” he said.

West Africa Divided As Nigeria, Ghana, Others Reject Eco Common Currency

 

Six Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries have rejected the move by eight other francophone nations in the region to adopt the Eco common currency.

Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, all English-speaking countries and Guinea, the only francophone country, faulted the move by Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Togo who had agreed to change the name of their common currency, CFA francs to Eco.

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At an extraordinary meeting of the Ministers of Finance and Economy, and the Governors of Central Banks in the West African Monetary Zone on Thursday, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed said that the declaration is not in line with the decisions of ECOWAS Heads of States.

“While the meeting applauds the decision of the francophone West African countries to the link, the meeting also noted with concern, the declaration by his Excellency, Alassane Ouattara, Chairman of the authority of the Heads of States and Governments of the West African Economy and Monetary Union on the 21st December 2019 to unilaterally rename the CFA francs as eco by the year 2020.

“WAMZ Convergence council wishes to emphasize that this action is not in line with the decision of the authorities of the heads of states and government of ECOWAS for the adoption of the eco as the name of an independent ECOWAS single currency.”

 

 

At the end of the meeting, delegates recommended that an extraordinary general meeting of ECOWAS heads of state and governments in the West African Monetary Zone be convened to discuss the matter.

“The council reiterates the importance for all ECOWAS member countries to adhere to the decisions of the ECOWAS authority heads of states and government towards the implementation of the revised roadmap of the ECOWAS single currency programme.

“The council recommends that an extraordinary summit of the authority of the heads of state and government of the WAMZ member state be convened soon to discuss this matter and other related issues.”

In December 2019, the adoption of Eco common currency by the eight francophone countries was lauded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), showing readiness to engage with the regional authorities, owing to its proven track record in the conduct of monetary policy and external reserve management.

Ghana had in December, lauded the move and said that the country is determined to do whatever they can to join the Member States of UEMOA soon.

Ghana Govt Reveals Plan To Adopt New Single West African ‘Eco’ Currency

 

The Government of Ghana has said that it will ‘soon’ adopt the use of the new Eco common currency which was declared by the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) for introduction in 2020.

Eight Economic Community of West African (ECOWAS) countries agreed to change the name of their common currency to Eco and discontinue the use of the CFA franc’s linked to former colonial ruler France.

The development was announced by the President of the UEMOA, his Excellency Alassane Ouattara President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire on December 22 during a visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Ivory Coast.

RELATED: West African Nations Rename Common Currency, Sever Its Links To France

According to a statement by the Ghanaian government, signed by the Director of Communication, Eugene Arhin, the decision is a good testimony to the importance that is being attached not only to the establishment of a monetary union but also to the larger agenda of West African integration.

“This is a welcome decision, which Ghana warmly applauds. It is a good testimony to the importance that is being attached not only to the establishment of a monetary union but also to the larger agenda of West African integration.

“We, in Ghana, are determined to do whatever we can to enable us to join the Member States of UEMOA, soon, in the use of the ECO, as, we believe, it will help remove trade and monetary barriers, reduce transaction costs, boost economic activity, and raise the living standards of our people.”

The Ghanaian government urged other Member State of ECOWAS to work rapidly towards implementing the decisions of the authorities, including “adopting a flexible exchange rate regime, instituting a federal system for the ECOWAS Central Bank, and other related agreed convergence criteria, to ensure that we achieve the single currency objectives of ECOWAS, as soon as possible, for all Member States.

“We have a historic opportunity to create a new reality for the peoples of ECOWAS, a reality of general prosperity and progress. So, let us seize it,” it stressed.

Terrorism Is Greatest Challenge Facing ECOWAS, Says Buhari

President Buhari with Togo President, Faure Gnassingbe, Burkina Faso President , Roch Marc Kabore, Guinea Conakry President, Alpha Conde and Gambia President, Adama Barrow during the 55th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS in Abuja on 21st Dec 2019. Credit: STATE HOUSE

 

President Muhammadu Buhari says the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is confronted with the greatest challenge of terrorism.

Buhari made this known on Saturday during the 56th Ordinary Session of ECOWAS Authority of Heads of state and Government in Abuja.

He also lamented the recent killing of about 70 military personnel by terrorists in neighbouring Niger Republic.

READ ALSO: President Buhari Joins Other African Leaders For ECOWAS Session Today

The Nigerian leader also reiterated his administration’s commitment in developing initiatives for inclusive economic growth among the people of the region.

Participants at the session included the President of the ECOWAS commission, Jean-claude Kassi Brou, the Chairman of the Authority and President of Niger Republic Issoufou Mahamadou.

Others were former Head of State Yakubu Gowon, President of the African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina as well as the Representative of the United Nations’ Secretary General, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

President Buhari Joins Other African Leaders For ECOWAS Session Today

President Buhari with R-L: Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou and ECOWAS President Jean Claude Brou during the 55th Ordinary Session of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of the ECOWAS in Abuja on 21st Dec 2019. Credit: State House

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday joined other African leaders for the 56th Ordinary Session of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of state and Government.

The President arrived at 11:08am for the Banquet Hall venue of the State House in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

In his welcoming address, the President said the greatest challenge facing the Ecowas region is terrorism, citing the recent killing of about 70 military personnel in Niger Republic.

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He however restated the Nigerian government’s commitment towards devising new strategies and initiatives for inclusive economic growth among the people of the region.

Participants at the session included the President of the ECOWAS commission, Jean-claude Kassi Brou, the Chairman of the Authority and President of Niger Republic Issoufou Mahamadou.

Others were former Head of State Yakubu Gowon, President of the African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina as well as the Representative of the United Nations’ Secretary General, Mohamed Ibn Chambas.

ECOWAS Court Orders Sierra Leone To ‘Scrap Pregnant Girl School Ban’

ECOWAS Court Fines FG N30m For Violation Of Rights

 

A ban on pregnant girls attending school in Sierra Leone must be scrapped, a regional West African court ruled on Thursday in a case brought by rights groups.

The ECOWAS Court of Justice demanded that “the prohibitive policy be reversed immediately”, calling it “discrimination against pregnant adolescent girls”.

Sierra Leone banned pregnant girls from going to school in 2015 following the 2014 Ebola crisis — during which thousands of girls became pregnant, often because orphans turned to prostitution, or as a result of rape and abuse.

Officials had argued that pregnant girls would be unable to learn and might influence other girls to get pregnant, but rights groups said the move was discriminatory.

Hannah Yambasu of WAVES, one of the groups that brought the case, said the court’s decision was vital for “ensuring girls are protected and ensuring that girls finish their higher education”.

The ruling was a “landmark moment”, according to Amnesty International’s Marta Colomer, but she warned that national governments do not always enforce decisions from ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States.

“The problem is in the past, we’ve seen some of Ecowas judgments have faced difficulties to find themselves enforced,” she said.

Justice Dupe Atoki at the ECOWAS court not only called for an end to the prohibition but also criticised efforts by the UN and the British government to provide a limited education for pregnant youngsters.

“That establishment of schools for pregnant adolescent girls where four subjects are taught in three days in a week is discriminatory and a violation of rights to equal education,” she said.

The ECOWAS Court, set up by the fifteen member states, issues decisions that are supposed to be binding, but often are not acted upon.

Women and girls in Sierra Leone face high levels of sexual violence -– a legacy of the use of rape as a weapon during the civil war of 1991-2002.

For a year after the 2014 Ebola Crisis, which killed almost 4,000 people in Sierra Leone and spread across West Africa, schools were closed to help authorities curb the deadly virus.

But after they reopened reports of stigma were rife.

In 2015, a group of 5,000 girls were expelled for getting pregnant during the Ebola crisis, before the decision was reversed by the government.

Why Senate Has Not Constituted Constitutional Review Committee – Lawan

Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Senator George Thompson Sekibo; Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege; President of the Senate, Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan; European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ketil Karlsen; Senate Leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullahi, and Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, during a courtesy visit by the ambassador to the Senate President at the National Assembly, Abuja, on Wednesday, December 4, 2019.

 

 

President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday explained why the upper legislative chamber has yet to set up a committee on the review of the Nigerian Constitution.

Lawan said the Constitutional Review Committee has not been set up because the Senate has been pre-occupied with other issues like the 2020 budget.

The Senate President spoke while receiving in audience the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ketil Karlsen who paid him a courtesy visit.

He, however, assured the nation that the committee will soon be put in place.

“Very soon, we will constitute our Committee on Constitutional Review. We haven’t done so yet because we have been engaged so much more with other issues.

“We believe that by the time we passed the budget, then our committee on Constitutional Review will be put in place.

“By next year January, the committee will start some work because we already have some references that require some kind of constitutional review,” Lawan said.

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The Senate President told his guest that the will and determination to carry out reforms is there.

Lawan expressed appreciation to the support the EU has been extending to Nigeria particularly in the areas of the electoral process and political development and cooperation.

“Our democracy since 1999 has received a lot of support from the EU and this is making a very positive impact.

“The relationship between the EU and the Nigerian government is not like it is with other organizations.

“We also have a relationship at the level of the legislature. We have the EU-ACPU joint parliamentary Assembly. We believe this is one area thru which we can continue to discuss issues that affect us in relation to the EU or what we think we can be doing together,” Lawan said.

Lawan asked of EU for more support in the area of capacity building particularly for the Senate Committees on INEC, National Planning, and Finance.

Earlier, Ambassador Karlsen said EU is for many years a very significant partner of Nigeria and expressed the hope that the current EU leadership will “be able to establish even deeper relationship with Nigeria.”

Buhari Attends ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit On Counter-Terrorism In Burkina Faso

President Muhammadu Buhari received by Burkina Faso President, Roch Kabore

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, to attend the ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on Counter Terrorism.

Upon his arrival, the President was received by President Roch Kabore of Burkina Faso.

The Aide to the President on Social Media, Lauretta Onochie, confirm through her Twitter handle that the President was also received at the Ouagadougou International airport by the Nigerian Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Ramatu Ahmed, Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, Defence Minister, Bashir Magashi, NSA, Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd), DG, National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, Executive Secretary of Lake Chad Basin Commission, Ambassador Nuhu Mamman and members of the Nigerian Community in Burkina Faso.

The special-one day summit by ECOWAS leaders and leaders from Chad, Cameroon and Mauritania is expected to adopt an action plan to address the spread of terrorism and violent extremism in the region.

READ ALSO: Buhari To Attend ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit On Counter-Terrorism In Burkina Faso

The Nigerian leader is expected to address the Summit where he will renew his call for West African leaders “to strive to provide the necessary resources and tools” for regional initiatives such as Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and the G5 Sahel Joint Force, to lead the war on terrorism, violent extremism and trans-border crimes across the region.

President Buhari is expected back in Abuja at the end of the Summit.

We Must Win The Fight Against Terrorism, Buhari Tells ECOWAS Leaders

 

President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, urged ECOWAS leaders not to allow terrorist groups destabilise the region.

”Our region has made commendable progress in the realization of its regional integration and we must not allow terrorist groups to destabilize our Community and undermine the aspirations of our people for a safe, secure and prosperous environment,” President Buhari said in his speech at the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on Counter-Terrorism.

”It is, therefore, our collective responsibility not to let up but to win the fight against terrorism and stamp out the scourge from our region,” he added.

President Buhari, who joined other ECOWAS leaders for the special one-day Summit, which was also attended by leaders of Chad and Mauritania decried that terrorism, today, has become a major security threat across the globe.

He warned that the activities of terrorist groups constitute a grave danger to peace and security in West Africa, the wider Sahel and the global community.

”The frequency of attacks, the determination and resilience of the terrorist groups as well as the ease with which they raise funds and acquire sophisticated weapons are matters of serious concern which should engage our attention as a Community.

”Equally worrisome, is the continuing spread of the menace of terrorism in the region and the growing link between terrorism and organized crime.

”This is why we must not relent in our efforts until we defeat the monster completely.

”And the best way to achieve this objective is through coordinated regional actions and responses against terrorism, insurgency, banditry, inter-communal disputes while we also put in place policies and measures that will address their root causes including the re-establishment and protection of livelihoods,” he said.

Sharing the experience of Nigeria in fighting the scourge, the President told the summit:

”As a major victim of Boko Haram terrorist activities, Nigeria has remained resolute in efforts to combat and eradicate them in all their forms and manifestations.

”Our counter-terrorism strategy which includes prevention, prosecution and reconstruction is also in full compliance with the Yamoussoukro counter-terrorism strategy adopted by ECOWAS Member States.

”In combating terrorism and addressing the resultant humanitarian crisis, through regional and international collaboration, ECOWAS as a Regional Economic Cooperation, would need in partnership with the African Union, to galvanise international support and solidarity to combat and defeat this menace in our region”.

The Nigerian leader also used the occasion to apprise the regional leaders on the situation in the Lake Chad Basin and the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).

He described the situation in Lake Chad Basin, historically a bastion of rich culture and civilization, an area abundant in natural resources providing livelihoods to tens of millions of people, as tragic.

He noted that the area has become an abode for terrorist groups and extremists whose primitive intent was wanton destruction of lives of innocent citizens and properties as well as public infrastructure.

On MNJTF, the President reported that the achievements recorded so far in the operations remain an exemplary model of regional collaboration.

”MNJTF has largely succeeded in degrading the Boko Haram terrorist group. This could not have been accomplished without the recognition by the affected Lake Chad Basin Countries and Benin Republic, of the need to harness our efforts and resources to confront our common enemy which has now been substantially weakened.

”While much still remains to be done, I encourage MNJTF to stay steadfast in their mission, as I urge the political leadership of the LCBC countries to continue to preserve our solidarity and commitment towards achieving durable peace and sustainable development in these areas.

”In this regard, it is imperative that we continuously strive to provide the necessary resources and tools to the MNJTF, the G5 Sahel Joint Force, the Accra Initiative and similar initiatives, to lead the war on terrorism, violent extremism and trans-border crimes across the region, ” he said.

President Buhari said he expects that the adoption of the road map, priority areas and other recommendations to the Ouagadougou Summit, if properly implemented, would go a long way in addressing the spread of terrorism and violent extremism in the region.