The president, who hosted the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the LCBC in Abuja on Saturday, recalled that the recent Summit of the leaders in N’Djamena, Chad, was imperative because of the need to overhaul the current strategy and concept of operations in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists.
He explained: “This was necessitated by the resurgence of attacks, particularly on the military, and the abduction of civilians for ransom across our borders by Boko Haram with the support of international terrorists who have infiltrated our sub-region.
“Our meeting today will consider the report of the Committee we set up during our last Summit on the way forward. I thank the Committee for meeting the deadline assigned to it and I hope that their recommendations will bring a new dynamism in the fight against Boko Haram and their international affiliates.
“The Lake Chad region has suffered decades of neglect and poor infrastructural development, the Boko Haram crisis in the last eight (8) years has worsened its already bad situation. We must take cognizance of the fact that sustainable growth and development of the sub-region is dependent on the quick attainment of peace and stability in the area.
“We must put an end to the crisis in the sub-region to enable meaningful development for its people. We must remain resolute and committed in our collective efforts at attaining peace as well as eradicating terrorism and violent extremism from the sub-region.
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“The time has come for the evil of Boko Haram to be brought to a definitive end. I am sure that this summit will take the right decisions in this regard. This is a fight to the finish. We must, and we will, by the grace of God, wipe out terrorism from our sub-region.”
President Buhari counselled that while executing the war against the Boko Haram terrorists, the commission must not be oblivious of the fact that the military may not provide the desired results alone.
He, therefore, pointed out the pressing need to pursue simultaneously both military and developmental approach to the challenges of the region.
Buhari added: “We will work towards strengthening of Civil-Military Cooperation in the fragile areas of the region to accelerate the implementation of the Regional Stabilisation Strategy.
“Our military strategy must be complemented by the mobilisation and deployment of adequate resources to ensure the reconstruction, rehabilitation and rebuilding of civil authority, as well as the provision of relief and succour for the affected.
“The Inter-Basin Water Transfer project to recharge the disappearing Lake Chad would also go a long way in the restoration of sustainable peace and security to these areas.”
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The president paid tribute to soldiers who he said had remained focused and committed to the task of ensuring the safety and stability of the region.
He urged them to remain steadfast in executing the war with the highest sense of honour, professionalism and patriotism.
While appreciating partners and the larger international community for their support and contributions in helping with the resultant humanitarian crisis as well as for their intelligence sharing and operations in the effort to Defeat Boko Haram and its affiliates, he added: “We, however, solicit greater cooperation and additional assistance to the LCBC/MNJTF to completely end the menace of Boko Haram and eradicate it from the sub-region. Such an outcome would add to global peace and security.”
Among the foreign leaders at the meeting were President of the Republic of Benin, Patrice Talon; President of the Republic of Cameroon, Paul Biya; President of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadera; President of the Republic of Chad, Idrissy Deby Itno and President of the Republic of Niger, Issoufou Mahammadou.
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