President Muhammadu Buhari has said his government is pledging a $100 million fund to support the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to be created in July to crush Boko Haram completely.
The President said this yesterday, during a Summit of Heads of State & Government of Lake Chad Basin Commission in Abuja.
In his address, he said; “Permit me, at this juncture, to recall that Nigeria has already pledged the sum of one hundred million ($100,000,000) USD for the smooth take off of the MNJTF. I hereby reassure you that my government will keep faith with this promise.
Buhari had, in his first week in office consulted with Heads of Government of neighbouring country such as Niger and Chad and Niger to map out the Boko Haram terror group operating along the countries territorial borders.
At the Summit, the various head of state finalize on the creation of a Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to further maintain the momentum in degrading the capacity of the insurgents until they are completely defeated.
“Our meeting today is premised on the common resolve and commitment of Member States of the LCBC & Benin to maintain the momentum in degrading the capacity of the insurgents until they are completely defeated. It is also borne out of the urgency to mitigate the suffering that has been imposed on our civilian population by the nefarious activities of the insurgents and terrorists.
“Our meeting today provides us an excellent opportunity to finalize the instruments for the operations of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), in order to give life to our joint military campaign to decisively defeat the insurgents.
Strengthening Regional Intelligence
President Buhari also said the campaign against insurgency must be directed on all fronts, starting from limiting their capacity to access funds and weapons and Improving regional intelligence and information.
“Our campaign against insurgency must therefore, be directed on all fronts, starting from limiting their capacity to access funds and weapons. We must, therefore, strengthen our cross border patrols and increase our capacity to gather and share intelligence. In this regard, I urge that all necessary steps be immediately taken to reinvigorate the Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit (RIFU). Buhari Said.
Buhari Reject Rotational Force Commander Role
President Buhari, however, reject proposal to a the role of the Force Commander of the MNJTF being rotated among neighbouring countries. Stressing that since Nigeria will be providing the bulk of the troops and the main theatre of the war is on Nigerian soil, it is therefore logical to have that Nigeria retains the position of the Force Commander of the MNJTF for the period of the war effort instead of the six month rotational Period.
In his words, “While I agree that this is a joint operation with shared responsibilities, I am, however, of the opinion that military operations that are subjected to a rapid turnover of command and control structures, six months duration, as it is being proposed in the documents before us, do not augur well for effectiveness and efficiency. Such a process will undermine, even if it is not intended, the military capacity to sustain the push against the insurgents, who also have the uncanny ability to adapt and rejig their operational strategies.
“I am inclined, on account of the above, to suggest for Your Excellencies consideration that Nigeria retains the position of the Force Commander of the MNJTF for the period of the war effort. This command will be to the effectiveness of military strategy, since Nigeria will be providing the bulk of the troops and the main theatre of the war is on Nigerian soil. President Buhari said.
In attendance were – Issoufou Mahamadu, President of the Republic of Niger, Idriss Deby Itno, President of the Republic of Chad. Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin, Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroun, Represented by Mebe Ngo’o Edgard Alain, Minister of Defence, Republic of Cameroun, The Honourable Ministers of Defence of Niger, Chad, Benin, The Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission & Benin Engr Sanusi Imran Abdullahi.