Terrorism: Chad Basin countries to support Multinational Joint Task Force – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday in Abuja that countries within the Chad Basin would continue to protect the lives of citizens by giving the needed support to the Multinational Joint Task Force operating in the region so as to fight terrorism.

The President, who is the Chairman of the Chad Basin Commission, said this at the opening ceremony of the 16th session of the Heads of State and Government of the commission hosted by Nigeria.

“We must continue to strive and make collaborative efforts and upholding the ideals for which the Multination Joint Task Force in its near 60 years of existence has continued to pursue. To our gallant troupes in the field ensuring the safety and stability of the region, we commit ourselves to sustaining the counter terrorism efforts by providing you with the requisite needs to function optimally.

“I wish to assure you that your welfare will continue to remain our priority. I urge you all to rededicate yourselves as we take the final push towards eradicating terrorism from our region. Together we shall restore and transform the Lake Chad to its former glory,” he said.

He assured citizens that the leaders of countries in the Chad Basin would sustain developmental efforts in order to uplift the living standards of the people.

“Although terrorists threats’ have been significantly decimated in the region, it is worthy of note that military actions alone cannot effectively win the war against terrorism. There is the overriding need to compliment military operations with the provision of sustainable development projects that will ameliorate the living conditions of the affected people in the region.

“Government’s presence must be positively felt in the area to restore the confidence of citizens in the ability of the State to protect them and provide basic infrastructure to all.

“It is in view of the foregoing, that the implementation of the Regional Strategy for the Stabilization, Recovery and Resilience of the Boko Haram affected Areas of the region must gain further traction without any delay,” he said.

He solicited support from development partners to boost development and end the war against terrorism.

“I urge our partners to continue to support us as we redouble the ongoing efforts at developing the region, to win the hearts and minds of the citizens in the area.

“The Lake Chad region is indeed faced with a complex security situation that is highly dynamic, constantly changing and increasingly influenced by the impact of climate change and other variables, including sadly, some external factors.”

“These factors have made it imperative for us to regularly review the development and counterterrorism strategies that are operational in the region.

“We must continue together to proffer ingenious solutions to the challenges confronting us. We must, through the Commission, continue to make concerted efforts to provide the desired leadership, ownership and ensure that our experts and troops are adequately motivated and supported to achieve our objectives,” he said.

The President thanked his colleagues and development partners for the support he enjoyed from them.

“As Chairman of the Summit of Heads of Government and State of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, I commend and thank you all for the vibrant solidarity, enhanced strong cooperation and support we continue to share.

“I equally express sincere gratitude to our partners for the support they continue to offer us in our joint collaborative efforts to fight the challenges that have hampered the sustainable development of the region, particularly climate change and terrorism. Together, we have shown that with commitment and with the desired support, we can achieve success,” he said.

He said leaders of the countries in the Lake Chad region must remain committed to ensuring that the diversity in the region continues to be a source of strength and socio economic development of the people.

“My dear brother-Presidents, we must remain unrelenting in providing the needed political and material support for the LCBC/MNJTF in its efforts at delivering regional initiatives that will revamp the Lake Chad and revitalize the socio-economic activities of the region. The fight against Boko Haram and other forms of criminality in the region must remain issues on the front burner of discourse in the region,” he said.