Nigeria, Chad Commit To War Against Terror | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Nigeria, Chad Commit To War Against Terror

Posted: Jun 5, 2015 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

•  Fight Against Insurgency’ll Be Decisive

By Chesa Chesa, Nedum Noble (Abuja) and Oyeniran Apata (Lagos)


President Muhammadu Buhari and his Chadian counterpart, Idriss Deby Itno, have affirmed  the commitment of their countries to greater cooperation in the fight against Boko Haram.  

According to a communiqué issued at the end of President Buhari’s one-day official visit to N’Djamena,  Chad, on Thursday, both leaders agreed on the need to quickly make the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) fully operational to effectively combat terrorism in North-East Nigeria and anywhere else that Boko Haram operates.

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

Buhari and Deby called on the international community to provide the Lake Chad Basin Commission and neighbouring countries with all necessary support to combat terrorism and insurgency.

According to the comminuque, “Both Heads of State agreed that the war on Boko Haram should be supported by emergency development initiatives in areas affected by this insurgency group.

Buhari paid tribute to the gallantry of Chadian soldiers who have engaged in operations against Boko Haram and condoled with the families of their comrades who were killed in action.

While in the Chadian capital, the President held a closed-door meeting with Major-General Tukur Buratai of Nigeria, who was recently appointed Force Commander of the MNJTF, with headquarters in N’Djamena.

Buhari called on member-countries of the Lake Chad Commission to redouble their efforts to intensify the operations of  the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) established to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency, noting that since the security of Nigeria and her neighbours were intrinsically linked, robust cooperation on security issues needed to be sustained.

The President said that he was certain that when it becomes fully deployed and functional, the MNJTF, which comprises Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon would be able to secure and stabilise  all the areas affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.

Buhari said that he was convinced that with greater cooperation among Nigeria and neighbouring countries, the Boko Haram insurgency would be brought to an end very soon.

According to a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, the President thanked Chad for her support in the fight against insurgency and terrorism, declaring that “your troops have stood shoulder to shoulder and fought gallantly with ours in the fight against the forces of evil.

Buhari, who is on his first visit to Chad, after assuming office as President of Nigeria, expressed concern that the insurgency has taken a huge toll on citizens of both countries, many of whom have been forced to flee their homes.

He said that the harrowing images of displaced citizens of both countries, in search of safety and succour, must spur their governments and others in the sub-region to do more “to restore their dignity and give them the relief they need”.

On the bilateral relations between Nigeria and Chad, the President said that both countries were bound by “nature,” and must, therefore, work together to find lasting solutions to issues of border management, migration and movement of goods and services.

His remarks came on the heels of Wednesday’s appointment of Major-General Tukur Buratai of Nigeria as the Force Commander of the reorganised MNJTF, which also has Benin Republic as an honorary member.

In his remarks, President Idriss Deby of Chad commended Buhari for his “wise decision” to relocate the Nigerian Military Command centre from Abuja to Maiduguri.

The Chadian President said the decision, which was contained in Buhari’s inaugural address, was a right step towards restoring peace and security to states affected by terrorism, and the sub-region.

He assured Buhari that Chad would continue to work with Nigeria to achieve lasting peace and security in the sub-region, given their historic, cultural and economic ties.

Meanwhile, Buhari has pledged that the fight against insurgent groups in the country would henceforth be more decisive.

He also assured corps members of adequate care and protection in the course of service to their fatherland, saying that no Nigerian that suffers any form of incapacitation would be abandoned.

Buhari stated this in his maiden address delivered at the swearing in ceremony for the 2015 Batch ‘A’ Stream II members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) at the Agege temporary Orientation camp in Lagos.

The President, in the address delivered by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Special Duties, Dr. Aderemi Desalu, on behalf of the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, assured Nigerians that his administration was determined to quickly restore peace in all affected states of the federation.

In the address to the first set of corps members to be sworn-in since his assumption of office, Buhari said: “Our commitment is to quickly restore peace in the affected areas and guarantee the security of lives and properties of every Nigerian, including corps members.”

He said that his administration would lead the country with sincerity and pledged the Federal Government’s continued support for corps members and the NYSC scheme through quick intervention and fulfillment of statutory obligations at all tiers of government.

Lagos State Coordinator of the scheme, Mr. Cyril Akhanemhe, in his address said that 2,500 second stream corps members were deployed to the state due to camp space constraint.

He reminded the corps members that the orientation camp, as a regimented environment, required from them high level of discipline.

He urged them to be good ambassadors of change in order to leave a lasting legacy during and after their service year.

He commended the Hope Alive Programme of the NYSC targeted at giving succour to corps members who become disabled during the service year, describing it as laudable.