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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja urged more vigilance and tightening of security around borders, drawing attention to the increased number of arms, ammunition, and other weapons from the Russia and Ukraine war in the Lake Chad Basin.
The president who is Chairman of the Summit of Heads of State and Government, spoke at the 16th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC), that the threat by terrorists in the region had been relatively brought under control, while the influx of weapons poses fresh challenges.
In a statement released by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media & Publicity, Buhari said,
“It must however be stated that despite the successes recorded by the gallant troops of the MNJTF and the various ongoing national operations in the region, terrorist threats still lurk in the region.
“Regrettably, the situation in the Sahel and the raging war in Ukraine serve as major sources of weapons and fighters that bolster the ranks of the terrorists in the Lake Chad Region. A substantial proportion of the arms and ammunition procured to execute the war in Libya continues to find its way to the Lake Chad Region and other parts of the Sahel.
“Weapons being used for the war in Ukraine and Russia are equally beginning to filter to the region.
“This illegal movement of arms into the region has heightened the proliferation of small arms and light weapons which continues to threaten our collective peace and security in the region. There is, therefore, the urgent need for expedited collaborative actions by our border control agencies and other security services to stop the circulation of all illegal weapons in the region,” President Buhari noted.
The President said the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) deserved commendation for various operations that had brought measurable stability to the Lake Chad Basin.
“The threat of Boko Haram terrorism in the Lake Chad area no doubt brought to the fore, the imperative of enhanced collaboration among the defense forces of the region in the face of a common aggressor. I am pleased that through the Multinational Joint Task Force we responded to the challenge, proving beyond reasonable doubt that with the requisite commitment and determination, the region can solve its challenges in the best ways possible.
“The MNJTF has indeed become a model, breaking physical barriers, and affirming the workability of the common approach to conquer challenges in the area.
“Permit me, therefore, to pay tribute to the untiring efforts of the officers and men of the Multinational Joint Task Force and our various National Armed Forces who continue to make remarkable sacrifices in the fight against terrorism in the region.
“The efforts and memories of these gallant soldiers, some of whom have paid the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty for the survival and restoration of stability to the region, will never be forgotten,” he said.
President Buhari further reiterated that during the period under review and with the support of Heads of State, efforts and funding were sustained for the MNJTF to ensure that it delivers on its mandate of ensuring a safe and secure environment in the region.
“You will recall that consequent on the deteriorating security situation in the Region, the Extraordinary Summit of 15th December 2018, held here in Abuja, directed the conduct of continuous operations to completely eradicate the scourge of Boko Haram terrorism from the region.
“I am glad to inform my dear brothers that in keeping with that decision, the MNJTF has since then, successfully conducted three major operations: Ops‘YANCIN TAFKI (I&II) and Ops Lake Sanity I, with, the fourth one, Ops Lake Sanity II, being planned. The next phase of the operation will take cognizance of lessons learned from previous exercises and effectively consolidate the gains attained by preceding Ops. I am glad to note that during the execution of Ops Lake Sanity I, regrouping terrorists in the Lake Chad Islands were effectively decimated,” the President added.Follow us on social media