Terrorism: Jonathan to meet with Lake Chad Basin leaders


President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to be in Niamey, capital of Niger Republic, today for a one-day official visit to enable him participate in an extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, where the leaders will further review the ongoing collaboration against terrorism.

The meeting will afford him the opportunity to discuss with leaders of neighboring Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin Republic, with whom he is expected to agree on further joint action to curb terrorism and insurgency within and across their national boundaries.

A statement from Aso Rock recalled that President Jonathan and the leaders had resolved at a meeting in Paris in May this year to intensify joint efforts to curtail terrorism and violent extremism.

At the Paris summit hosted by President Francois Hollande of France in the aftermath of the dastardly abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls, the leaders had also agreed 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 create a dedicated team to draw up and offer advice on the implementation of a regional counter-terrorism strategy under the framework of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.

The statement issued by presidential spokesman, Reuben Abati, explained that Benin Republic, which participated in the Paris summit but is not a member of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, has been invited to the Niamey talks.

The Lake Chad Basin Commission was set up in 1964 by Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon with the mandate to sustain and equitably manage shared water resources of the Lake Chad Basin, and promoting regional integration, peace and security across the Basin.

It was gathered that President Jonathan will be accompanied to Niamey by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Aminu Wali; Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro; Chief Of Defence, State, Alex Barde among other senior government functionaries.

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