by Laila Ibrahim
President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria, will embark on a one-day official visit to Niamey, Niger Republic today, to participate in an ‘Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.’
According to a statement by Rueben Abati, the president’s spokesperson, “Jonathan and other participating Heads of State and Government are expected to review the ongoing collaboration against terrorism and agree on further joint action to curb terrorism and insurgency within and across their national boundaries.”
On 8 September, Jonathan had travelled to Ndjamena, Chad for a similar talks with Chadian president, Idriss Deby, as part of the Federal Government’s efforts to forge a stronger alliance with Nigeria’s neighbours in the battle against the Boko Haram insurgents
At an earlier meeting in Paris in May of this year, President Jonathan and the Heads of State and Government of the neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin Republic had collectively agreed to intensify joint efforts to curb ‘terrorism and violent extremism.’
The Paris Summit was hosted by President Francois Hollande of France, following the abduction of the over 200 Chibok schoolgirls. At the meeting, Jonathan and and his counterparts had decided to establish joint anti-terrorism patrols and a system of sharing intelligence to support operations against terrorists and other cross-border criminals.
They also agreed to set up a special team to arrive at and counsel on the implementation of a regional counter-terrorism strategy under the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Aminu Wali, the Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, the Chief Of Defence State, Air Chief Marshall Alex Barde and other senior government officials will accompany President Jonathan to Niamey for the meeting.
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