Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says international collaborations in the area of military action and cross-border security interventions are yielding results in fight against terrorism.
Osinbajo said this on Monday in Abuja while declaring open the first Annual International Forum on the Development of the Lake Chad Basin Commission.
The vice president, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event said synergy between countries and stakeholders across the region and the Sahel were critical to stability in the region.
He said, “Collaboration, cooperation, and synergy between our countries, and stakeholders across the region and the Sahel are the key actions that will determine the speed and effectiveness of the delivery of economic stability and peace, and containing the humanitarian crisis.
“There is a need for international cooperation and collaboration especially as we have seen in the domain of military action and we have seen this work for cross border security interventions especially in terrorism situations in that neigbourhood.
“All of our successes in our fight against terrorism exemplify what we can achieve by working together.
“We therefore must continue to build on this spirit of cooperation in other areas of intervention and forge even stronger ties for sharing information and lessons from our different experiences.
“There have been several studies that deal with different aspects of the security challenge and a multi-faceted approach for long term security and stability of the region will be informed by discussion and analyses from this body of knowledge.’’
He said that while there had been a lot of progress, there remained much to be done in addressing the drivers of the insecurity and improving in the areas that needed improvement.
According to him, one of the things that the crisis has affected is social cohesion within and around many of the communities.
The vice president commended the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Sadiya Farouq, and her team for their efforts towards the recovery of the basin.
He also lauded the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the North-East Development Commission and the Lake Chad Region Recovery and Development Project for their commitment to the recovery and development of the Lake Chad Basin.
“It is now my special privilege and honor to officially declare the 1st Annual International Forum on the Development of the Lake Chad Basin, open,’’ he said.
n his remarks, the Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Mamman Nuhu said that the two-day forum was organized as part of the implementation of the PROLAC.
“It is a platform that brings together high-level international and local stakeholders to facilitate exchanges on the progress in the implementation of PROLAC; to deepen conversations and harmonization of existing national and regional initiatives and strategies and to enable planning of new initiatives for closer co-operation to enhance stabilization in the Lake Chad Region,” Nuhu stated.
The Managing Director of North East Development Commission, Mohammed Alkali pointed out that the area around Lake Chad has borne the double burden of climate change and forced displacement over several years.
“Latest estimates show that the region hosts 2.5 million refugees and internally displaced persons, most of them children.
“This forced displacement crisis has added pressure on host communities around the region.
“Despite the Lake Chad potential of being the driver of development in West Africa, the Lake Chad area is being challenged by multiple and inter-related drivers of conflicts and fragility.
“The Boko Haram insurgency alone has affected over 23 million people alone.”
Alkali said that Nigeria’s inclusion in the PROLAC is premised on the fact the ongoing World Bank finance, multi-sectoral recovery project being implemented in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe has a similar purpose to regional projects in terms of social cohesion, livelihood, restoration of services and reconciliation.
Others who spoke at the opening of the forum were the World Bank Country Representative in Nigeria, Shuhbam Chaudhuri, Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum and Governor of Far North Region of Cameroon, Mr Mijinyawa Bakari, who spoke in French and Nigeria’s Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu.