PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari wants Nigeria to head the newly formed Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, with headquarters in D’Njamena, Republic of Chad. Speaking to fellow member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC, on Thursday, June 11, Buhari said this was in recognition of the nation’s contribution to the task force established by the leadership of the member-countries of the Commission.
Buhari said: “Our Ministers of Defence have proposed modalities for the operations of the MNJTF. I want to commend them for the painstaking effort and the outcomes of their deliberations, which they have presented to us for our consideration and approval.
“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. 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 re-jig their operational strategies.
“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 who made the request in his welcome address at opening session of the Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Heads of States and Governments of the LCBC at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, on Thursday, also promised to redeem the $100 million pledged by Nigeria towards the MNJTF’s effort to defeat Boko Haram.
Harping on the need to strengthen cross-border patrol and intelligence sharing, Buhari said that efforts must be targeted at limiting the insurgents’ capacity to access funds and weapons.
The meeting also had in attendance presidents Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic, Idriss Deby Itno from Chad, Boni Yayi of Benin Republic.
President Paul Biya of Cameroon was represented by Mebe Ngo’o Edgard Alain, minister of defence of the country.
— Jun 22, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT