In a renewed bid to curb the activities of Boko Haram, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday held a one-day consultative meeting with Heads of State and Governments of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) in N’djamena, the Chadian capital.
During the meeting which was called to address the recent upsurge in terrorist activities in the region, President Buhari rallied his colleagues from Chad, Niger Republic and Republic of Cameroon to a fresh onslaught against the insurgents.
He said: “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.
“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.
“We must not cave in. The group’s renewed strategy of increasingly mining the general area as well as its recent deployment of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance activities have proved to be critical factors in the resurgence of attacks in the region.
“We are committed to ensuring that the ideals of restoring peace, stability and viability of the Lake Chad Region to its glorious state, for which some of you have paid the ultimate price is attained.”
Buhari, who is also the Chairman of the Summit of Heads of State and Governments of the LCBC stated that the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) must allow the enemies of the region to succeed in their quest to destabilize the area.
“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.
“There is no gainsaying that also fueling the crisis are the twin menaces of poverty and the continued shrinkage of the Lake Chad, which have rendered the people of the region vulnerable to terrorist activities.
“Attention is drawn to the Lake and its resources, which have always been the source of livelihood for the millions of people that live within and around the basin,” he added.
He therefore charged the Presidents and Heads of Governments in attendance to make concerted efforts to ensure the actualization of efforts to recharge the Lake through Inter-Basin Water Transfer from the Congo Basin.