The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has expressed optimism that with the intensification of joint patrols, military operations and intelligence sharing by Nigeria and neighbouring countries the activities of insurgents and other cross-border criminals will soon be drastically curtailed.
- Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs of Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic, were in Abuja on Monday to put together the legal framework for cross-border military operations
- Jonathan says the countries have to work together to defeat Boko Haram terrorist group
- He believes proper monitoring of borders will reduce movement of criminals, terrorists and small arms and ammunition
- The Nigerian President is optimistic that the group will come up with an effective action plan for the successful implementation of the Niamey Agreement
President Jonathan told a gathering of Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs of Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic, who were in Abuja on Monday to work with their Nigerian counterparts on a legal framework for the cross-border military operations approved by him and neighbouring heads of state in Niamey.
An agreement -Niamey agreement -was reached by the leaders of the countries in Niamey last week.
President Jonathan reiterated his belief that such collaboration was essential for success in the war against terrorism.
“I am quite pleased with the decisions we took in Niamey to enhance and boost joint actions against Boko Haram and other cross-border criminals because we have to work together to defeat Boko Haram and other extremist groups in our sub-region.
“I believe that if we cooperate more and monitor our borders closely, the movement of criminals and terrorists as well as small arms and ammunition across our shared borders will also be drastically reduced,” President Jonathan told the visiting Ministers who were accompanied to the Presidential Villa by Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali and the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.
The Naimey agreement
In a statement by the spokesman for the president, Reuben Abati, President Jonathan said that with their collective experience and professionalism, he expected the visiting ministers and their Nigerian counterparts to come up with an effective action plan for the successful implementation of the decisions reached by the leaders of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic at their meeting in Niamey on October 7.
At that meeting, the leaders announced plans to step up the fight against Boko Haram. It was agreed that a command centre for a multinational force headed by a chief of staff would be in place by November 20.
The leaders also agreed to finalise the deployment of troops promised by member states to form the multinational force within their national borders by November 1.
The visiting ministers at the audience with President Jonathan were Niger’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Mohammed Bazoun, Cameroon’s Minister of External Relations, Mr. Pierre Moukoko Mbonjo, Chad’s Minister of Defence, Mr. Benaindo Tatola and Chad’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Muossa Faki Mahamat.
Others are Niger’s Minister of Defence, Mr. K. Mahamadou, Benin’s Minister of Defence, Mr. Robert Yarou, Benin’s Minister of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Nassirou Bako Arifari and Cameroon’s Minister of Defence, Mr. Edgar Alain Debe Ngo’o.
The Boko Haram sect has carried out more of its attack in Nigeria’s north-east.
The Islamist group is seeking an Islamic State and an end to western education.
Lately, they shifted their operations from bombings and attacks on villages, churches, schools and public places to trying to seize territories in the northeast.