A Major General replaced another Major General at the command of the Lake Chad Basin Commission Multinational Joint Task Force (LCBC/MNJTF), as decided by the Heads of State and Government of this regional Organization in charge of the preservation of natural resources, the supervision and coordination of transboundary water projects, the regulation and control of water resources and the prevention and resolution of conflicts.
Major General LUCKY ELUONYE ONYENUCHEA IRABOR has been appointed since 8th July 2017 as the new Commander of the Lake Chad Basin Commission Multinational Joint Task Force for the fight against Boko Haram Terrorist Group. He replaced another fellow citizen, Major General LAMIDI OYEBAYO ADEOSUN, a good friend and a mate in the Nigerian Army. In addition to fight against BH, MNJTF has, among other missions, the restoration of peace and security in areas affected by Boko Haram activities, the mitigation of violence against civilians, the restoration the State authority and facilitate the return of internally displaced persons and refugees.
The ceremony of official transfer of authority took place at the MNJTF HQs at Farcha Millezi on 8th July 2017 under the chairmanship of the Executive Secretary of LCBC, Head of Mission of the Multinational Joint Task Force, Engr. SANUSI IMRAN ABDULLAHI, fnse. It is worth noting that top military officials based in N’Djamena attended this ceremony.
During the inauguration ceremony of the new Commander, MNJTF, the Executive Secretary of LCBC, Head of MNJTF Mission, Engr. SANUSI IMRAN ABDULLAHI availed himself of the opportunity to highly commend the successful operations conducted by the coalition of forces of Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria under the auspices of LCBC. He further highlighted that this was in line with efforts being put together to build on a stronger multinational Joint Task Force to fight Boko Haram Terrorist Group in an effective and efficient manner as a result of the decision made by the Heads of State and Government of LCBC Member Countries and Benin reaffirming their commitments to promoting and sharing the values of peace, solidarity and development among countries of the same space.
However, the Executive Secretary regretted the lack of funds facing MNJTF to better perform its mission, ensuring peace, security and stability as well as the development of the entire sub-region.
Likewise his predecessor, the new Commander, MNJTF Maj. Gen. LUCKY ELUONYE ONYENUCHEA IRABOR graduated from the Joint Military Academy of Nigeria. Before his appointment as the new Commander MNJTF, Maj. Gen. IRABOR was the theater Commander of OP LAFIA DOLE in Nigeria for the fight against Boko Haram Terrorist Group. He cleared out ALARGANO FOREST considered to be the spiritual hideout of Boko Haram Terrorist Group. He planned and executed thoroughly OPs “CRACK DOWN 1 AND 2”, “FINAL RESCUE” and “DEEP PUNCH” which destroyed completely Boko Haram camps in the SAMBISA GAME RESERVE, large number of vehicles and weapons and enabled the release of thousands of prisoners detained by the terrorist group including several Chibok girls.
As the fourth Commander of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) since its reactivation and operationalization, Maj. Gen. LUCKY IRABOR is a top military officer with outstanding experience in fighting against terrorism. He was appointed several times Commander of military operations against Boko Haram Terrorist Group in Nigeria and neighboring countries. His appointment at the command of MNJTF falls in line with new strategies adopted by the Nigerian Army in fighting Boko Haram. In line with these new strategies, several Nigerians military officers have been deployed both in national and international military operations.
It is worth recalling that the recurrence and the aggravation of Boko Haram attacks in the Lake Chad basin area brought LCBC Heads of State and Government to put in place a Joint Task Force to fight against terrorism with a view to eliminating Boko Terrorist Group. The Lake Chad Basin Commission Multinational Joint Task Force (LCBC/MNJTF) has thus been operationalized following its endorsement by the African Union during its Summit held in January 2015 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The strengths of MNJTF are estimated at 10,000 troops from LCBC member countries (Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria) and Benin Republic. The area of operation (AoO) of this Force include the countries directly affected by the menace of Boko Haram Terrorist Group.
As a relevant and concrete model of cooperation in Africa, MNJTF is a platform for LCBC member countries fighting terrorism to reaffirm their commitments to promoting and sharing the values of peace and solidarity. This is a real diplomatic achievement which offers numerous advantages for the countries concerned. It would first of all mark a change in the dynamics by showing that a synergy of actions is possible among LCBC member countries by mutualizing their efforts to fight against a common enemy, Boko Haram Terrorist Group. Based on this diplomatic success, MNJTF would then serve as a concrete tool of cooperation in Africa.