The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, has urged President Idris Deby of Chad to use his good office as African Union Chairman to support the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
Mr Dan-Ali also asked President Deby to call on countries, organisations and individuals that pledge financial and material support to the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to fulfil their promises, to enable the task force execute its mandate of ending the activities of Boko Haram in the region effectively.
He made the appeal on Wednesday when he led a team of Ministers of Defence and Chiefs of Defence Staff from troops-contributing countries of MNJTF which include Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroun and Benin Republic, to visit the Chadian leader after LCBC meeting in Njamena.
The Nigerian Defence Minister also appealed to African leaders to provide a better means of livelihood for their people, to prevent the recruitment of youths into terrorist groups across the region.
In his response, President Deby assured the visiting Ministers and Chiefs of Defence Staff of the support of all LCBC Presidents to the MNJTF operations and promised to impress on the donors to fulfil their promise.
He also paid tribute to the MNJTF soldiers and urged them to rid the region of Boko Haram terrorists as soon as possible.
Mr Dan-Ali’s appeal was made public in a statement by his spokesman, Colonel Tukur Gusau.
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, on Tuesday assured the international community that the end of Boko Haram terrorists is in sight.
President Buhari made the optimistic expression in Dakar, Senegal, even as he hailed the increased cooperation between Nigeria and its neighbours in the fight against terrorism.
Addressing audience at a Panel of Heads of State at the 3rd Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa, the President also assured the international community that the security situation in Nigeria had improved significantly.
“About a month ago, I spoke with the President of Chad and I was pleased that a number of Chadians and Nigeriens that were Boko Haram members are surrendering to him en-masse. The good news I have is that the end of the raining season has come in the North eastern region of Nigeria.
“Members of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) are in their respective positions and at an agreed time they will move simultaneously and spontaneously for us to see the end of Boko Haram. We are now operating in the Sambisa Forest and as far as Boko Haram is concerned in the Lake Chad Basin area, I think they are done for,” the President declared.
Looking For Any Kind Of Job
Highlighting the gains of the cooperation among the Lake Chad Basin Commission countries comprising Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Benin Republic and Nigeria, the Nigerian leader told the gathering that Boko Haram is no longer holding any territory or Local Government Area (LGA) Nigeria.
“Those who live in the North East know that Boko Haram is no longer holding a single territory in the 774 LGAs in Nigeria. But they have a system of using IEDs and they indoctrinate mostly teenage girls and send them to soft targets to churches, mosques and market places. That too is becoming very rare.
“I think Boko Haram shot themselves in the foot when they gave their ideology a religious connotation by killing children in their schools, people in the mosque and churches and shouting Allahu Akbar.
“This is a major contradiction as no religion advocates hurting the innocent. You can’t kill people and say Allahu Akbar. You either do not know what you are saying or you don’t believe it,”’ President Buhari said.
A statement by a spokesman for the President Buhari, Mr Garba Shehu, said the Nigerian leader emphasised that the oil-rich nation was capable of surmounting its security challenges and appealed to the international community to focus more attention on addressing piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and unemployment in Nigeria.
“In the southern part of the country, stolen Nigerian crude is being illegally transported through the Gulf of Guinea and installations offshore are being subverted. We also have the problem of unemployment in Nigeria. With a population of 180 million people of which 65 per cent are under the age of 35, young Nigerians are looking for any kind of job to survive.
“We are addressing the situation (unemployment) by turning to agriculture and solid minerals because we are lucky to be blessed with arable land, water and resources,” the President noted.
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.
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.
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated Nigeria’s support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its efforts to stop the spread of terror in the Middle East.
President Buhari said this on Tuesday at a meeting with King Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz in Riyadh, where the two leaders engaged in extensive discussions on regional and global issues.
President Buhari, who was making his first pronouncement on the invitation to join the coalition of Islamic States against terror, congratulated the kingdom of Saudi Arabia on its formation.
“Even if we are not a part of it, we support you. I must thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the recent creation of a coalition to address the menace of international terrorism.
“Nigeria will support your efforts in keeping peace and stopping the spread of terror in your region. This is in consonance with our own commitment and ongoing efforts in seeking to stamp out Boko Haram terrorists from the West African sub-region and Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC),” the President said.
Problem Of Terrorism Speaking on global terror generally, President Buhari stressed the need for various nations to come together to tackle the menace.
“International terrorism made a statement by attacking one of the advanced countries by carrying out an attack on Paris in which 130 were killed. Now we have to come together to find a common solution to the problem of terrorism,” he said.
The President also thanked the Saudi government for its continuing support to Nigeria in the fight against terrorism.
President Buhari regretted that the late Libyan leader, Muammar Ghaddafi, recruited, trained and armed citizens of many states in the Sahel region, lamenting that with Ghaddafi’s fall, these mercenaries have returned to their countries, “doing nothing but to shoot and kill”.
He cited Burkina Faso and Mali as the main victims but expressed happiness that the countries neighbouring the Lake Chad have tightened their ranks to finish off the Boko Haram threat.
“Luckily, we have cultivated our neighbours. We are now working together against Boko Haram, otherwise the problem would have become worse,” he said.
In his remarks, King Salman commended the progress made by Nigeria in combating terrorism and promised to give further support and assistance.
He welcomed the support of the Nigerian government for the new anti-terrorism coalition and implored President Buhari to consider its full membership.
King Salman also pledged his full support and cooperation to Nigeria under its present leadership and directed all agencies of his government to follow up on the discussions.
“I now instruct my team to go and sit down with your relevant agencies to push forward cooperation between our states,” he said.
President Buhari and King Salman expressed hope that the Libyan factions would soon see reason to reunite and restore fully their own country so as to save the world from further terrorism spin-offs from that country.
Both leaders expressed commitment to a stable oil market and a rebound of oil prices.
They also focused on trade between their states and agreed to give fresh impetus to the joint commission previously established in order to boost commercial and other activities to unify their citizens.
Both Leaders ‘Committed’ To Oil Price Stability
The two leaders “committed themselves to doing all that is possible to stabilize the market and rebound the oil price”, Garba Shehu said in a statement.
The two leaders accepted the fact that their two economies are tied to oil, adding that all cannot be well with both countries when the world oil market is unstable, he added.
The governments of Nigeria and Benin Republic have agreed to strengthen the economic and security cooperation between both countries.
Addressing a joint press conference after a closed door meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic, the two presidents also agreed to promote efforts towards regional integration.
They pledged to put in place necessary mechanisms to further strengthen regional integration under the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and the Co-Prosperity Alliance Zone (COPAZ).
President Buhari, expressed satisfactions with Benin Republic for identifying with the current efforts at fighting terrorism under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.
President Iyayi, who spoke in French through an interpreter, also said that Nigeria and other West African countries have to do more in the area of border co-operation, climate change and power generation in the sub-region.
He commended President Buhari for the coordination of the fight against Boko Haram pledging the continuous support of his country.
President Buhari said with what has already been put in place and with the huge deployment of men and materials in the north east, the heat is already on the insurgents.
The President expressed gratitude to Benin Republic for identifying with the Lake Chad Basin Commission and their contribution in the fight against Boko Haram.
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, has directed the Federal Ministry of Defence to strategise for the establishment of a modest Military Industrial Complex for the production of domestic weapons, to meet some of the requirements of the Nigerian Armed Forces.
The President made this declaration in Abuja on Friday at the graduation ceremony of the National Defence College, where he condemned the country’s over-dependence on other countries for critical military equipment and logistics.
“We must evolve viable mechanisms for near-self-sufficiency in military equipment and logistics production complemented only by very advanced foreign technologies.
“The Ministry of Defence is being tasked to draw up clear and measurable outlines for development of a modest Military Industrial Complex for Nigeria,” President Buhari said.
Buhari said the decision was made to liaise with other strategic MDAs and industries to re-engineer the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to meet national military hardware and logistics requirements.
‘Win The War’
He observed that since his administration’s assumption of office, it had reviewed the nature and character of Nigeria’s security threats and challenges.
“We recognised first and foremost, the external dimensions of these threats and the need for international cooperation and common security mechanisms to tackle them,” he said.
President Buhari explained that in the light of this realisation, his Administration was “convinced that the best approach was to work within the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to mobilise a collective regional effort in the fight against terrorism and insurgency.
The President urged the graduates, officers and men of the Armed Forces to work harder to win the war against the Boko Haram, terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria’s north-east.
“We must apply a comprehensive strategy and coordinate all elements of national power against terrorism and insurgency; we must show result oriented leadership at all levels of military Command; we must set up an optimal organisation to manage and sustain operational performance; and we must show confidence and winning mentality,” Buhari said.
‘Make A Marked Difference’
The President assured Nigerians and the international community that the Federal Government, under his leadership, would strive to meet the operational, logistic, training and welfare requirements of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
He also reaffirmed his commitment to ameliorating the hardships of people living in areas most affected by insurgency and terrorism.
“We have the will, resolve and conviction to apply a comprehensive strategy and coordinate all elements of national power against terrorism and insurgency,” the President stressed.
Buhari said that the National Defence College had fulfilled the vision of its founding fathers, by becoming a strategic human capacity-building institution, making credible contributions to Nigeria and other friendly countries.
The President urged graduates of the College’s Course 23 to resolve to ‘make a marked difference in your future deployments and contribute your quota to the evolution and implementation of national security, defence and military strategies’.
“You should be the source that lights up the environment wherever you find yourselves,” he said.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday warned that the Federal Government will no longer tolerate illegal mining and other improper activities that have inhibited the growth of Nigeria’s solid minerals sector.
The warning was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.
President Buhari issued the warning after receiving a briefing from top officials of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development led by the Permanent Secretary, Baba Umar Farouk.
The President, who noted that the mines and steel sector was very important for the diversification of the economy, expressed displeasure at Mr. Farouk’s report that the sector had been overrun by illegal miners.
“This is one of the most demoralizing briefs I have received. The biggest threat to this country besides the Boko Haram is unemployment and the mining sector is key to employment creation.
“We cannot be held back on such a strategic industry that can give us much needed jobs and promote economic growth.
“There must be more seriousness in running this country and we are determined to instill that seriousness,’’ the President said.
The Permanent Secretary told the President that Nigeria’s mining sector has been infiltrated by “illegal aliens” who carry out unlawful mining activities in the country.
Also on Tuesday in Abuja, President Buhari directed the Ministry of Environment to undertake a rigorous study of Lake Chad, with a view to bringing up proposals on how best to reverse the shrinking of the lake, which currently serves as a major source of livelihood for many.
Speaking after receiving a briefing on the challenges facing the Ministry of Environment, President Buhari noted that the security and economic challenges faced by member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission could be substantially ameliorated with an improvement in the economic value of the lake.
The President also urged the Ministry of Environment to take up the challenge of researching cheaper ways of sourcing energy for cooking apart from firewood.
The Permanent Secretary, Nana Fatima Mede told President Buhari that Lake Chad has shrunk considerably from the 1960s, when it covered an area of more than 26,000 square kilometers, to less than one-tenth of that size at present.
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, says that with the formation of a stronger regional coalition, Nigeria and other neighbouring countries have an increased capacity to deal with Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.
President Buhari said this on Friday during a conversation with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas.
According to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President reaffirmed his belief that the full activation and deployment of the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which has been established under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, would lead to the speedy defeat and elimination of Boko Haram.
President Buhari also said that with the Command and Control Centre of the Nigerian military now in Maiduguri, Borno State, the morale of troops in the front-line states had improved significantly.
“You can tell the Secretary-General that we are doing our best and our best will be good enough for the nation and the sub-region,” President Buhari said.
Against the background of upcoming elections in Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea and Burkina Faso, the President also called on the United Nations to assist African countries in the acquisition and use of innovative technologies to ensure more credible elections.
“When citizens recognize that their votes count, it will boost their confidence in democracy and their countries’ electoral systems,” he said.
Recalling that in the last general elections in Nigeria, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) used smart card readers to authenticate prospective voters, President Buhari observed that while Nigeria could afford the use of such technology in its elections, other African countries may require support and assistance from the international community.
Dr Ibn Chambas commended President Buhari for his strong and positive actions against terrorism.
The United Nations envoy also welcomed President Buhari’s successful visit to Cameroon during the week and his reaffirmation of Nigeria’s commitment to the peaceful resolution of all border issues with Cameroon.
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria’s security agencies have began to compile a comprehensive list of logistic needs against Boko Haram to be forwarded to the G-7 nations.
This is following his meeting with the G-7 member nations in Germany on Monday.
President Buhari made the disclosure while speaking with journalists at the end of the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission member countries and Republic of Benin at the presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
President Buhari said that he has already informed other members of the commission during the meeting to also prepare their own lists.
The final list to be forwarded to the G-7, he said, would be decided after the A.U meeting in South Africa.
He also explained that the rules of engagement among the troops of the member states have been clearly spelt out.
Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, has reassured member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission of the commitment of his administration to the fight against Boko Haram promising to keep faith with the pledge by the Nigerian Government to fund the fight with the sum of 100 million dollars.
The President, who spoke at the opening session of the Summit of Heads of States of the Commission holding in Abuja, noted that funding had been one of the major challenges of the fight against the sect and there is need to improve this.
While urging member countries to source for funds by all means, he recalled that the Nigerian Government had pledged towards that and reassured a fulfilment of that pledge.
He said that the momentum in degrading the capacity of the insurgents must be maintained until they are completely defeated.
The President decried the nefarious activities of Boko Haram and said that the meeting in Abuja would provide excellent opportunity to finalise the instruments of the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force in order to give life to the effort to decisively deal with the insurgents.
President Buhari also harped on the need for cross border patrol and intelligent sharing as well as limiting the Boko Haram capacity to access fund and weapons.
He would want a restructuring of the operations of the Multi National Joint Task Force and urged the leaders to allow Nigeria to control the force.
The Executive Secretary of the Commission Mr Sanusi Imran Abdullahi, had identified funding as key in the operationalisation and commended the international community for the donation of 1.5 million dollars to the commission as a show of solidarity.
The summit was also urged to go all out to mitigate the sufferings which has been imposed on the civilian population by the activities of the insurgents and terrorists.
Current Chairman of the Summit and President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou, who spoke in the French language, called for a minute silence for the heroes who fell in the hands of terrorists.
Leaders from across the African continent have arrived Abuja for the meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Commission which is taking place at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Heads of Governments from Chad, Niger and Benin Republic are present at the meeting while the Defence Ministers from Cameroun are also in attendance .
President Muhammadu Buhari is presiding over the meeting and has already given his opening speech along with the chairman of the commission.
President Buhari emphasized the need for the Multi-National Joint Task Force to work in order to reduce insurgency.
He urged them to sustaining the operation to tackle terrorism is key to the development of the region.
Ahead of the meeting the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Sanusi Abdullahi told journalists that the body will need about Thirty Million Dollars to set up the headquarters of the Multi National Joint Task Force and sustain its operations to tackle terrorism in the region.
Mr. Abdullahi also added that the implementation of the Multi National Joint Task Force is long overdue and has become very imperative to quickly deploy the operation of the troops that will help in the fight against Boko Haram.
” The total amount needed to set up and sustain the Multi National Joint Task Force Headquarters for the next 12 months is estimated to be about Thirty Million Dollars, the troops contributing country are responsible for equipping and sustain their battalions”
He added that there should be no time left for the sect members to plan their next rampage .
The Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) will require $30 million in the next one year to reduce terrorism in Nigeria’s north-east and neighbouring countries to its barest minimum, an official of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) said on Wednesday.
At the end of a two-day meeting of the Ministers of Defence and top military officials of the LCBC, the Executive Secretary of the commission, Mr Sanusi Abdullahi, told reporters that more funding was needed to adequately equip the military in the war on terror.
Mr Abdullahi said the global security threat, as a result of the activities of the Boko Haram terrorist group, was very high and had led to instability, underdevelopment and untold hardship of citizens of the region.
He expressed optimism that the recent successes recorded by the joint operations of the task force would bring the insurgents to their knees.
The Executive Secretary, however, stressed the need for redoubled efforts by members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission to permanently root out Boko Haram.
The commission is meeting to work out the processes for the operationalisation of the strategic directive for the immediate take off of the combined operation of the modified version of the MNJTF in the campaign against terror in the region.
At the end of the meeting, the report will be submitted to the Heads of government of the member countries to decide whether the MNJTF will be operationalised or not.
The meeting is preparatory to the Extra-Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the LCBC member countries in furtherance of the multilateral discussion on counter terrorism operations in the sub region.