President Muhammadu Buhari has challenged the Heads of State and Governments of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) to strengthen their efforts tackling the menace of Boko Haram terrorists in the region.
The Nigerian leader made the call on Thursday at a one-day consultation with the LCBC leaders in N’djamena, capital of the Republic of Chad.
“We must not relent and allow the enemies of the region to succeed in their quest to destabilise the area,” said the President.
“We must reinvigorate our collective will and commitment towards eradicating terrorism from our region.
“We must remain focused and true to ensuring sustainable development. To this end, I have requested that bilateral and multilateral platforms of engagements by member countries affected by the conflict be revamped to ensure collective actions towards stamping out the remnants of the terrorists from the region.”
The meeting was convened to address the recent upsurge in terrorist activities in the region, and President Buhari rallied his colleagues from Chad, Niger Republic, and the Republic of Cameroon to a fresh onslaught against insurgents, particularly the Boko Haram group.
“Times as these call for quick interventions and measures. As you are aware and have witnessed in recent times, there are new developments of security concern in our sub-region,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina.
“The region in the recent past has witnessed increasing attacks, particularly on military formations by elements of the Boko Haram terrorists as well as the renewed kidnapping of people. These activities are aimed at weakening our collective resolve to eradicate them from the region.”
The President blamed the rise of terror in the region on the twin problems of poverty and the shrinking of the Lake Chad Basin, and promised to do more to restore the basin to its past glory.
He thereafter commended what he called the “untiring efforts” of the leadership of the LCBC, and officers and men of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
Other nation leaders in attendance at the consultation were President Idris Deby of Chad, President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic, and Prime Minister of Cameroon, Philemon Yang, who represented President Paul Biya.
In a joint communique, the Heads of State and Governments resolved to change modus operandi, collaborate more, and renew assault on all forms of terrorism and criminal acts, till wholesome peace was restored to the region.