Insurgency Now Threat To All West African Countries – Ex-COAS Dambazau


A former Chief of Army Staff, General Abdurrahman Dambazau (retd.), says insurgency has gone beyond being a threat to Nigeria as it now affects about 15 countries in West Africa including Benin Republic.

“This (insecurity) has become a regional issue because it is an issue that has engulfed the whole of the Lake Chad Basin region and it is an issue that also has connection with the Sahel region as a whole.

“It is a regional issue and even Benin (Republic), our neighbour is getting a touch of it,” Dambazau said on Channels Television’s current affairs programme, NewsNight.

Dambazau, who was COAS from August 2008 to September 2010 and Nigeria’s Minister of Interior between November 2015 and May 2019, said at first, the countries in the Lake Chad Basin such as Chad and Niger Republic thought terrorism was Nigeria’s challenge until recently.

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“Initially, some of those countries in the Lake Chad Basin did not show much concern about it, that it was Nigeria’s problem until it became very much a reality that it was a regional problem.”

He, however, said the countries have now joined the fight against terrorism through the Multinational Joint Task Force established by the Nigerian Government to checkmate trans-border security challenges.

“Even Benin Republic which is not a member of the Lake Chad Basin Commission is contributing towards that because it is also a threat to it. It is a threat to the whole of West Africa,” the ex-Army chief said.

Troops Destroy Ten Boko Haram Camps in Lake Chad Region

A photo released by the Nigerian Army on March 18, 2022, shows troops during one of the operations in Borno State.


In continuation of its counter-insurgency operations in the Lake Chad Basin area, troops of the Multinational Joint Task Force and Operation Hadin Kai comprising of Nigerien and Nigerian troops, have cleared ten identified Boko Haram settlements in the North East and Lake Chad Basin.

The operation which commenced from Monguno on May 17 saw the troops clearing Boko Haram settlements at Grada, Kwatan Maishayi, Daban Karfe, Daban Gajere, Tumbun Buhari and Tunbun Abuja.

Others include Sabon Tunbu, Ali Sherifti, Doron Naira and Daban Masara.

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According to a statement by the spokesman of the MNJTF, Lieutenant Colonel Kamarudeen Adegoke, the terrorists fled the cleared enclaves in a bid to avoid being killed by the troops as no contact was made with the criminals during the operation.

However, he said troops were able to recover some items in the cleared settlements, including packed fish in cartons, assorted grains, house hold items and a motorcycle.

In line with MNJTF SOP for operations, the enemy camps were destroyed and the items were properly burnt. About 30 young men who claimed to be fishermen and farmers were arrested in the general area of Doron Naira and are being profiled and interrogated to ascertain their culpability or otherwise.

Similarly, troops of Task Force Mallam Fatori, comprising of Nigerien and Nigerian troops from the MNJTF firm Base in Arege, carried out clearance operations to the general areas of Ali Jimari, Dogon Chuku and Tunbum Rago.

Some Boko Haram elements on sighting the advancing troops, abandoned their motorcycles and an old Hilux Toyota van and fled.

The two motorcycles and the old Hilux Toyota van were burnt in the location by the troops, while in a separate operation, a young Fulani girl named Salamatu, aged about 12 and claiming to be from Darge Kessa Village in Abadam LGA, was found by the Task Force team wandering in the bush.

The MNJTF spokesman said the girl will be handed over to the relevant authorities for further action after necessary profiling.

Buhari Appoints Babagana Kingibe As Special Envoy To Chad, Lake Chad Basin

A file photo of Babagana Kingibe.


President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Ambassador Babagana Kingibe as his Special Envoy with Cabinet Rank Status to Chad and the Lake Chad Basin Region.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, announced this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

“This appointment of a Special Envoy by the President is also in consonance with the resolution of the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission Member Countries, on the situation in Chad on the 25th of May 2021,” he said.

According to Mustapha, the responsibilities of the special envoy include monitoring developments in Chad and the Lake Chad Basin Region, and aid reconciliation and seamless progress towards a return to democratic rule at the end of the current Transitional Military Council’s rule.

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The special envoy was also mandated to collaborate with member countries and partners in the region with similar initiatives to restore stability, promote peace and security, as well as promote any other initiative ancillary to the restoration of peace and security in Chad, North-East Nigeria, and the Lake Chad Basin Region.

“President Buhari has by this appointment demonstrated the determination of Nigeria to lead regional security efforts that will stabilise the Lake Chad Basin Region, bring peace to Chad, and ultimately eliminate the Boko Haram Insurgency in the North-East zone of Nigeria,” the SGF said.

He added, “This is also a fulfilment of the President’s promise to General Mahamat Deby Itno, the President of the Transitional Military Council of Chad, to support a seamless progress towards a return to democratic rule when he visited Nigeria in May 2021.”

Mustapha described Kingibe as an accomplished multi-lingual diplomat, who had at various times served the nation as Federal Permanent Secretary, Secretary to the Constituent Assembly, Cabinet Minister, and Secretary to the Government of the Federation.

He had also participated in previous Nigeria-led Chadian reconciliation talks (Kano 1 & II as well as Lagos 1 & II).

Buhari Woos Qatar On Investments In Refineries, Power, Economy


President Muhammadu Buhari has asked Qatar to invest in Nigeria’s refineries, power, economy and other sectors as he attempts to improve bilateral relations between both countries.

The President played host to the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, at State House, Abuja, on Tuesday.

In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the recharge of Lake Chad Basin was also amongst the issues discussed by both leaders.

“We invite you to invest in our refineries, pipelines, power sector, aviation, agriculture, education, and many others so that you can have your management here to oversee the investment. We need your expertise.

“We need help with the recharge of Lake Chad, as it is not a project that the concerned countries can handle alone.

“Recharging the lake will bring back fishing, farming, animal husbandry, and the youths won’t be attracted by insurgency or illegal migration.

“We want Qatar to be involved because of the humanitarian nature of the endeavour,” President Buhari said.

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Sheikh Hamad Al-Thani, whose visit is his first to Nigeria, lauded the relationship between both countries and urged that it should be solidified.

“We share a lot of similarities in different areas. We need to enhance bilateral trade and economic cooperation.

We are willing to do a lot more with Nigeria, and will continue to work on investment opportunities of mutual benefit,” he added.

“The relationship between our countries is very good. We just have to build on it,” the emir said.

Insurgency: Buhari, Other Lake Chad Basin Leaders Meet In Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari and other leaders of the Lake Chad Basin countries are currently in a meeting in Abuja.

Presidents of Chad, Niger, Central African Republic and Cameroon are in attendance at the meeting and President Buhari is the chairman.

The leaders during the meeting considered the report of the Defence and Security committee set up by the leaders in Ndjamena, Chad earlier in December.

The committee’s report is expected to overhaul strategies to counter Boko Haram and other security threat in order to stabilise the region.

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President Buhari during the opening ceremony of the meeting said he believes that military strategy must be complemented by the mobilisation and deployment of adequate resources.

According to him, this will ensure reconstruction, rehabilitation, and rebuilding of civil authority and provision of relief to affected persons.

The meeting holds a month after President Buhari traveled to N’djamena Chad to convene a similar meeting to review the security situation and intensify the efforts to end the insurgency in the region.

Lake Chad Basin Governors Pledge To End Terrorism


Governors of the Lake Chad Basin have unanimously agreed that the war against terrorism would have to be fought from all fronts.

The two-day event was held in Borno had governors from Borno and Adamawa states, while Chad, Niger and Cameron Republics from outside Nigeria.

The newly inaugurated forum believes that tackling the receding Lake Chad, climate change, and other development issues cannot work without security.

The Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum centered its meeting on Regional Cooperation on Stabilization, Peacebuilding, and Sustainable Development.

Community leaders, religious leaders and opinion leaders, as well as key stakeholders from the international community, actively participated in the conversations.

While the top agenda is how to salvage the dwindling fortunes of the region owing to climate change and Lake Chad’s recession, insecurity in the region was noted as a stumbling block.

The Multinational Joint Task Force confirms that a large number of the Boko Haram elements have now moved to the Lake Chad islands.

A reality that threatens to be a setback to the noble resolve of the Forum and everyone in the room.

The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambers admits that Boko Haram still constitutes a grave threat to the stability and survival of people in the Lake Chad region.

He assures that the UN and the international community would continue to support the region to ensure Boko Haram insurgents were routed in the Lake Chad.

A ten-point communique at the end of the closed sessions contains the resolve of the governors to keep communication channels open for cross-border response to crisis and solutions.

The forum also resolved to make the meeting an annual event with the Niger Republic to host the next meeting in 2019.

The Lake Chad Governors Forum meeting was convened and facilitated by the UNDP.

Presidency Cancels Wednesday’s FEC Meeting For Lake Chad Basin Conference

The weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) which holds on Wednesdays will not be holding this week.

In a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, he said the cancellation of the meeting is due to the participation of President Muhammadu Buhari, and a significant number of ministers at the High-Level Meeting of the International Conference on Lake Chad Basin.

The meeting is expected to hold on Wednesday, February 28, 2018, at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja.


The two-day conference, organised by the government in Abuja and the Lake Chad Basin Commission, aims to “save the lake from extinction”, according to UNESCO, which is backing the talks.

A $6.5-million (5.3-million-euro) research and conservation programme will involve Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria, whose borders meet on the lake, as well as the Central African Republic.

Troops from Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria are fighting a battle against Boko Haram jihadists in the remote region.

Lake Chad is the principal source of freshwater for 40 million people.

But climate change and water mismanagement have contributed to a staggering 90 per cent decline of the lake’s surface over the past 40 years.

As it dries up and hunger rises, the region has become fragile and Boko Haram jihadists have targeted subsistence farmers and fishermen to fill their ranks.

The ongoing Islamist insurgency has forced tens of thousands of people to cross borders in search of food and safety.

The UN estimates that more than two million people have been uprooted from their homes and 10.7 million are in need of food handouts to survive.

UNIMAID Workers Abducted By Boko Haram Will Regain Freedom Soon – Gov Shettima

Shettima, Borno, Northern Leaders, Northern Nigeria

The Governor of Borno State has said all hope is not lost for the University of Maiduguri workers who were abducted by Boko Haram in July as talks are ongoing for their release.

Governor Kashim Shettima gave the assurance in an exclusive interview with Channels Television’s political correspondent, Seun Okinbaloye.

“I believe discussions are currently ongoing. I would rather not comment on this issue so as not to jeopardise the lives of those hostages. But I can assure you that discussions are ongoing and very soon they will regain their freedom,” the governor said.

The hostages were among the UNIMAID staff and workers of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation who were ambushed in July with more than 20 members of the team and soldiers meant to provide security for them killed by the insurgents.

Shortly after the ambush, Boko Haram had released a video showing three of them appealing to the Federal Government to meet the demands of the terrorists and secure their release.

Governor Shettima, in giving the assurance that they would regain their freedom soon, expects exploration activities to continue in the Chad Basin despite the attack.

He said he had witnessed the flaring of gas in the region more than 20 years ago and that there had appeared to be more gas than oil in a well that was explored then.

With the growing importance of gas, the governor said it was important to pursue the exploration of the Lake Chad basin.

“Gas has become the product of choice. Oil will become to Nigeria what coal is to Newcastle in the next 20 to 30 years but gas will continue to be relevant in the foreseeable future,” he said.

“So, I believe that even for the sake of national stability and complementarity, the issue of exploring for oil and gas in the Lake Chad Basin should be pursued with vigour.”

UNGA: Aisha Buhari, Wives Of Lake Chad Basin Presidents Collaborate To Help Refugees

On the sidelines of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), Wife of the President of Nigeria, Aisha Buhari and other wives of Presidents in Lake Chad basin has held a meeting in New York to mobilise resources and discuss issues that concern refugee women and girls.

The joint humanitarian project which is held in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNPF) is aimed to support refugee women and girls in the Lake Chad Basin region.

Wives of Presidents of the four Lake Chad basin countries – Chad, Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon were in attendance as the programme was chaired by Toyin Saraki, representing Aisha Buhari.

Saraki at the event spoke about Nigeria’s collaborative effort at handling the problem of insurgency and giving succor to the internally displaced persons in the region.

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“The issue goes beyond aid, the issue requires all the countries affected by the region to come together and strategy, not just to help the internally displaced people but to begin to plan a way forward out of this problem. To actually rebuild their lives.

“I am able to say Nigeria is leading the effort to really rehabilitate and restore the Lake Chad basin to its former prosperity which includes restoring peace and I have high hopes for this concerted efforts,” she said.

An estimated $1.5 billion is needed in 2017 to support 11million women and children refugees in the Lake Chad region.

Photos from the event…

Wife of Nigeria’s Senate President, Toyin Saraki representing Aisha Buhari at the event.

U.S. Africa Command Pledges Support For Nigeria

Army Discovers Boko Haram Terrorist Graves In BornoThe United States Africa Command has announced a strong commitment to Nigeria in its battle against insurgency, as well as other countries of the Lake Chad basin.

The Commander of U.S. AFRICOM, General Thomas Waldhauser, noted that information sharing with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) was part of a continuous strategy to combat terrorism.

He told journalists after a lecture organised for Course 25 at the National Defence College, Abuja that the U.S. would continue to participate in the insurgency fight, as long as reports of progress tallies with the actuality.

Although General Waldhauser said intelligence of the military has in many ways come under scrutiny, he reiterated the need to enforce partnership with Africa towards development.

On his part, Commandant of the defence college, Rear Admiral Samuel Alade, said sharing information and an overall goal to develop capacity was very much the target for the command.

Other speakers at the event also stressed the need for the government to reinforce its initial push against Boko Haram terrorists with the support of friendly countries like the United States.

Humanitarian: U.S. Declares Additional $92m For Lake Chad Basin

Boko Haram, Humanitarian, U.S., Lake Chad BasinThe United States has announced about $92 million in additional humanitarian assistance to people affected by the ongoing conflict and severe food insecurity in Nigeria and throughout the Lake Chad Basin region.

With this announcement, the United States is providing at least $291 million in humanitarian assistance since the 2016 fiscal year to people affected by the Boko Haram-related conflict and the related humanitarian crisis.

A statement by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) revealed on Tuesday that the U.S. has continued to be the single largest humanitarian donor to the region.

“This new funding to United Nations and NGO partners will help tens of thousands of people receive critically needed humanitarian assistance, including food, water, shelter and services to address acute hygiene, protection, and nutritional needs.”

In Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad, the conflict has left more than 6.4 million people in need of emergency food assistance and displaced 2.6 million people.

The U.S. estimated that an additional $1 billion was needed to meet the humanitarian needs of the people in 2017.

They called on other donors to contribute additional humanitarian assistance for the millions of people in the region whose lives have been affected by Boko Haram insurgency.

End Of Boko Haram Is In Sight, Buhari Assures International Community

muhammadu-buhari-in-senegalNigeria’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.

Niger Republic, Boko Haram
Boko Haram has in the past seven years pushed for an Islamic State and an end to Western education in the northeast region

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.