Saturday, May 14, 2016 10:20 pm
President Muhammadu Buhari told a regional summit in Abuja today that Boko Haram had ceased to be a cohesive insurgency group.
“Today, we have achieved significant outcomes. Boko Haram is no longer a cohesive force, but a group of self-seeking individuals pursuing personal glory,’’ he said.
Buhari was reviewing the progress made in the region since the last summit in Paris a year ago.
President Buhari enumerated some of Nigeria’s achievements, at both bilateral and multilateral levels, since the Paris Summit to include the recovery of all territories occupied by Boko Haram in Nigeria and the establishment of a Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to prosecute the war against terror.
Other achievements, according to him, are the admission of the Benin Republic to the MNJTF, establishment of Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit (RIFU) in Abuja, strengthening the security of border regions of Member states and the reactivation of MNJTF with 8,500 officers and men.
He told the summit that 916 million Euros was required for the effective implementation of the Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilience Action Plan (LCDCRAP).
He said the implementation of the action plan remained a vital challenge.
According to him, the long term development of the Lake Chad region is crucial to reducing the high poverty rate in the basin.
He said poverty was a major factor in the recruitment of terrorists.
“The long-term development of the Lake Chad Region is crucial to reducing the high poverty rate in the basin, a major factor in the recruitment of terrorists.
“Implementing the Lake Chad Development and Climate Resilience Action Plan (LCDCRAP), which was submitted to donor countries and organization at the conference of Parties (COP 21), Side Event on the Lake Chad, therefore, remains a vital challenge.
“The total cost of the short and medium term development of the Lake Chad region is estimated to be in the region of 916 million Euros.
“As LCDC Member States, we seek the cooperation and support of our partners to implement this plan,’’ he said.
The President stressed the need to articulate a plan for the critical post-conflict development phase.
According to him, it is only by bringing development to the areas affected by insurgency and by protecting the victims and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) as well as refugees that genuine recovery of areas devastated by conflict devastated areas could be achieved.
Buhari, therefore, expressed the hope that the summit would be a turning point for the collective efforts at achieving a conflict-free, peaceful and stable region.
In his remark, the US Deputy Secretary of State, Mr Anthony Blinken, said US authorities had so far spent 250 million dollars on the development of the Lake Chad Basin.
Blinken, who lauded the efforts of the regional task force in its fight against terror groups, reiterated the determination of the US to end all forms of terrorism across the world