Eradicating Boko Haram: Lake Chad Basin Leaders Revise Strategies

An extraordinary Summit of Head of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission took place in Abuja, Nigeria on December 15, 2018.

Cameroon’s Prime Minister, Head of Government, Philemon Yang on December 15, 2018 represented the Head of State, President Paul Biya in the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission and Benin to address prevailing security challenges in the sub-region in the Nigerian capital, Abuja. The local tabloid, The Guardian reported that Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari who is current chairperson of the commission summoned the extraordinary summit. The Abuja summit was a follow up to that held in Chadian capital, N’Djamena in November 2018 and therefore served as the forum to adopt the report of Commis sion’s security and defence committee on Boko Haram insurgency. The Guardian quoted President Buhari as declaring, “This is a fight to the finish. We must, and we will, by the grace of God, wipe out terrorism from our sub-region.” He is quoted to have reiterated, “Your Excellencies would recall that during our Summit in N’Djamena, the need to overhaul our current strategy and concept of operations in the fight against the Boko Haram Terrorists took the centre stage of our discussions.” He is further quoted to have explained that, “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.” As the way forward in the resolve to eradicate Boko Haram, the leaders noted that the Lake Chad region had suffered decades of neglect and poor infrastructural development. President Buhari therefore recommended, “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.” He equally called on leaders, “We must remain resolute and committed in our collective efforts at attaining peace as well as eradicating terrorism and violent extremism from the subregion.” Considering that the military may not provide all the results alone, countries of the sub-region must pursue simultaneously both military and developmental approach to challenges. Military strategy must also be complemented by mobilization and deployment of adequate resources to ensure the reconstruction, rehabilita tion and rebuilding of civil authority, as well as the provision of relief and succor 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,” Mr Buhari said

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