Abuja - Nigeria, 16 December 2018 – The Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) member countries and Benin Republic ended its deliberations yesterday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja – Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Summit was chaired by H.E. Muhammadu Buhari, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, current Chairman of the Summit of Head of State and Government, which comprises six member countries (Cameroon, Niger, Nigeria, Chad, CAR and Libya). This Extraordinary Summit aimed to review the report of the meeting of the Defense and Security Committee (DSC), which was set up by the Heads of State two weeks earlier during the N’Djamena - Chad Summit.
In attendance were Presidents Muhammadu Buhari, host of the Summit, Idriss Deby Itno for Chad, Issoufou Mahamadou for Niger, and H.E. Philemon Yang, Prime Minister and Head of Government of Cameroon representing President Paul Biya and H.E. Marcelline Paulette Adjovi, Ambassador Plenipotentiary of Benin Republic to the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing President Patrice TALON.
In his welcome remarks, the Executive Secretary of LCBC and Head of Mission of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), Amb. Mamman Nuhu commended the initiative undertaken by H.E. Muhammadu Buhari for convening the session. He further congratulated the Defence and Security Committee for the job well done and briefed the audience on the Regional Stabilisation Strategy, which is making huge strides since its adoption on 30 August 2018. “On 7 December, I addressed eleven of the biggest donors of the Lake Chad Basin Commission who pledged their commitment towards the implementation of the Strategy. A coordinated and well sequenced implementation of the Strategy is essential to break the vicious circle of stranded repenters returning to the bush to take up arms because they are unable to make a smooth transition back into society”, the Executive Secretary outlined.
President Muhammadu Buhari did not mince words in his opening address: “Today’s Meeting is in continuation of our joint efforts to address the prevailing security challenges in our sub-region. 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.”
President Buhari further added, “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.”
During their closed session, the Heads of State and Government perused the report of the DSC which comprised Chiefs of Defence Staff of LCBC member countries and Benin Republic, the Executive Secretary and the Force Commander, MNJTF. After listening to the report read by the Chairman of the Committee, the Heads of State and Government endorsed the report as amended.
After the closed session, they reiterated their resolve to eliminate insecurity in the Lake Chad region and restore peace prior to the implementation of development projects. In this vein, they appealed to the international community to keep on helping them defeat Boko Haram in the region and implement the Stabilisation Strategy.