President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan said Monday that Nigeria was greatly disturbed at the new spate of insecurity and threat to the peace around the Lake Chad area.Addressing the 14th Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) in N’Djamena, Republic of Chad, the President noted that groups of individuals have been taking advantage of the freedom of movement around border areas to unleash terror, fear and hate.
President Jonathan expressed appreciation for the continued external support to Nigeria “whenever despicable acts of violence by some of these groups occur in the country.”
The President urged member countries of the LCBC to see this threat beyond the confines of national territories, and consider its wider sub-regional implications.
“Let us therefore re-strategise to ensure that our security plans include the border areas of the Lake Chad region,” in a robust and holistic manner stressing that “it has become urgent to give a new mandate to the multi-national Joint Task Force to include cooperation in dealing with such cross-border insurgency within its area of coverage.”
On the major issue of the drying up of Lake Chad, President Jonathan expressed delight that the feasibility study on Inter-Basin Water Transfer from Oubangi River in Central African Republic to Lake Chad has revealed that the gigantic project is feasible and can restore hope to the populations around the Lake.
With regard to the recurring problem of insufficient funding of the LCBC Secretariat for optimal performance, President Jonathan appealed to member countries to ensure speedy redemption of outstanding financial contributions, emphasising that “without funds, it is impossible for us to carry out the various plans and initiatives of the LCBC.” He further urged the strengthening of the Inter-Parliamentary Union on the Lake Chad Basin Commission.
The Executive Secretary of the LCBC, Sanusi Abdullahi, in his remarks, commended Nigeria and Chad for having paid up to date all their financial obligations. President Jonathan, the host President Idriss Deby Itno, Presidents Issoufou Mahamadu of Niger Republic and Francois Bozize of Central African Republic also attended the summit, while Cameroun, Libya and Sudan were represented by ministers.
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