Buhari rejects proposal for Chad, Niger, others to head central force against Boko Haram

Buhari rejects proposal
for Chad, Niger, others to
head central force
against Boko Haram


President Muhammadu Buhari has
rejected a proposal for an alternate
leadership between Nigeria, Chad, Niger,
Cameroun and Benin, of a joint military
force against Boko Haram.
At a meeting with leaders of the Lake
Chad nations Thursday in Abuja, Mr.
Buhari insisted Nigeria must be the sole
leader of the joint military operation.
He said a proposal that such leadership
alternate amongst the participating
nations after every six months, may
ultimately undermine the joint
The president said his argument should
be adopted since Nigeria remains at the
centre of the Boko Haram crisis, and will
provide the bulk of troops for the
“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,” Mr. Buhari
“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.
He continued, “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.”
The president’s remarks were disclosed
in a press statement released by his
It was not immediately clear whether the
suggestions were adopted by the other
The Extra Ordinary Summit of the Heads
of State and Government of the Lake
Chad Basin Commission and Benin, was
attended by the president of Chad, Idris
Deby; Niger, Issoufou Mahamadu; Benin,
Boni Yayi; and the Defence Minister of
Cameroun, Mebe Ngo’o Edgard Alain.
The coalition considered new measures
against Boko Haram, responsible for
thousands of deaths in Nigeria, and
neighbouring countries.
Mr. Buhari thanked the foreign leaders
for their help in the fight against the
“Nothing has emphasized our common
humanity and destinies more than the
dastardly crimes against our people by
the insurgents, who have maimed and
raped our women and children and held
our nations in a vicious strangle hold,”
he said.
“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
He thanked the Ministers of Defence of
all the countries for coming up with a
proposal for the joint military force.
He said Nigeria had promised $100
million for the take-off of the
multinational force, and assured the
funds will be provided.
He said notwithstanding the pledge,
funding still remains a major issue of
the campaign.
“I had raised this issue at my meeting
with the G7 leaders. While I am
encouraged by their support, I also urge
you to garner the support of your
international friends and partners to
sustain this campaign,” he urged the
“Our campaign against Boko Haram
must be seen within the wider context of
the global war against terror. Terrorism
has no frontiers and they must, because
of the great implication for regional and
global peace and security, be defeated.”

Newsweb Express


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