President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in N’djamena, Chad, urged member-countries of the Lake Chad Commission to intensify the operations of the Multi-National Joint Task Force, MNJTF established to tackle the Boko Haram insurgency. Speaking at bilateral talks between Nigeria and Chad, Buhari noted that the security of Nigeria and her neighbours’ were intrinsically linked. He added that it made it very essential that they cooperated on security issues in a robust and sustained manner. The President said that he was quite certain that when fully deployed and functional, the MNJTF, which comprises Nigeria, Chad, Niger and Cameroon, would be able to secure and stabilise all the areas affected by the Boko Haram insurgency.
His remarks came on the heels of Wednesday’s appointment of Maj.-Gen. Tukur Buratai of Nigeria as the Force Commander of the reorganised MNJTF, which also has Benin Republic as honorary member. The President thanked Chad for its invaluable support in the fight against terrorism. “Your troops have stood shoulder- to- shoulder and fought gallantly with ours in the fight against the forces of evil. This is a remarkable show of good neighbourliness, which we must reinforce in the years ahead,” he told President Idriss Deby.
President Buhari, who is on his first visit to Chad, after assuming office as President of Nigeria, expressed concern that insurgency had taken a huge toll on citizens of both countries, many of whom were forced to flee their homes. The President said that the harrowing images of displaced citizens of both countries, in search of safety and succour, must spur their governments and others in the sub-region to do more “to restore their dignity and give them the relief they need”. On the bilateral relations between Nigeria and Chad, Buhari noted that both countries were bound by “nature”.
Buhari thanked President Deby for attending his inauguration on May 29 in Abuja, noting that he would return to Nigeria with the assurance that Nigeria and Chad were poised to intensify their cooperation. In his remarks, President Deby commended Buhari for his “wise decision” to relocate the Nigerian Military Command Centre from Abuja to Maiduguri. The Chadian President said that the decision, which was announced in President Buhari’s inaugural address, was a right step toward restoring peace and security to states affected by terrorism and the sub-region. He assured Buhari that Chad would continue to work with Nigeria to achieve lasting peace and security in the sub-region, given their historic, cultural and economic ties.