…EU, UK, USA restate commitment to fight Boko Haram
From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has restated the determination of his administration to successfully rescue and reunite the abducted Chibok schoolgirls with their families, promising that he would not spare any effort to achieve the important mission. President Buhari who gave the assurance in an address he presented during the second Regional Security Summit in Abuja yesterday, urged the participants to ensure an improved collaboration to address the menace of terrorism in the region.
“I would want to seize this opportunity to inform you that the African Union Commission (AUC) and the LCBC/MNJTF have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Support Implementation Agreement (SIA). With this, the African Union will coordinate the collation of all international assistance towards the prosecution of the fight against terrorism and extremism in our region.
“I must, however, call on AUC and the LCBC to faithfully implement these important agreements. In this regard, all assistance received from donor states and organisations must be seen to have been fairly, transparently and equitably distributed.
“Strengthening the MNJTF to enhance its decisive role at the fulcrum of our collective effort to rid the region of the last vestiges of the Boko Haram sect is an objective to which we must remain fully committed. Furthermore, it is expected that new protocols for enhancing the current level of intelligence sharing through the Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit (RIFU) and the Inter-Regional Coordination Centre (ICC) based in Abuja and Yaounde respectively, would be adopted. “Let me reiterate our firm commitment to safely rescue and re-unite the abducted Chibok girls with their families. Our government will not spare any effort to achieve this important mission. It is my firm belief that this summit would usher in a period of improved collaboration to address the menace of terrorism in the region. Inspired by the promise of sustainable peace and development, we must redouble our efforts to implement all agreements.
“I assure you all that Nigeria will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other countries in the fight to combat and eliminate terrorism in all forms in West Africa. Recognizing that our efforts to attain enduring peace and stability in our region will be more productive with international support, we call on our international partners to remain steadfast in their support,” he pleaded.
Meanwhile, European Union has promised to support the fight against Boko Haram with the sum of €50 million to the Multinational Joint Task Force (JTF) under the EU-AU partnership.
“In the context of the EU-AU partnership, as reconfirmed during the donor conference organised by African Union Commission adopted in April 2016, a financing decision setting aside €50 million from the African Peace Facility in support of the MNJTF against Boko Haram.”