by Laila Ibrahim
President Goodluck Jonathan says he is confident that the activities of insurgents and cross-border criminals will soon reduce substantially, based on the agreement reached at Niamey by the leaders of Benin, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria.
Last week, precisely on 7 October, the leaders had met to discuss the intensification of joint patrols, military operations and intelligence sharing amongst their respective countries.
At that meeting, the leaders announced plans to step up the fight against Boko Haram, after which, a communique was issued stating that a command centre for a multinational force headed by a chief of staff will be in place by 20 November.
President Jonathan stated that collaboration was essential for success in the war against terrorism, while welcoming the Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs of Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic.
The foreign envoys are in Abuja to work with their Nigerian counterparts on a legal framework for the cross-border military operations approved by Jonathan and neighbouring heads of state in Niamey.
Jonathan said, “I am quite pleased with the decisions we took in Niamey to enhance and boost joint actions against Boko Haram and other cross-border criminals because we have to work together to defeat Boko Haram and other extremist groups in our sub-region.
“I believe that if we cooperate more and monitor our borders closely, the movement of criminals and terrorists as well as small arms and ammunition across our shared borders will also be drastically reduced,” he added.
The President added that with their collective experience and professionalism, he expected the visiting ministers and their Nigerian counterparts to come up with an effective action plan for the successful implementation of the decisions reached by the leaders of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic at their meeting in Niamey.
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