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.
Speaking in Abuja while declaring open the first Annual International Forum on the Development of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, Osinbajo 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.
“ As we rebuild the physical structures within these areas, we should be mindful of the need to foster peaceful coexistence and restore the social fabric of those societies.
“ For without sustainable peace we are limited in how much we can attract the kind of investments necessary for the growth we need to fulfill the needs of our populations.
“As we listen, learn, and share over the course of the forum, we hope to build stronger ties with our neighbours that will endure and grow beyond the immediate task in front of us, yielding results over the short and long term with new strategies, renewed vigour and drive to improve the lives of our brothers and sisters across the four countries.
“ Our experience has highlighted the importance of dialogue and interactions such as this in confronting common challenges and we are confident in its potential for achieving our objectives,’’ he said.
Osinbajo said the results and recommendations from the forum were to be transmitted to the various governments to guide policy making and strategic decisions needed to be taken in the short and long term related to the development of the region.
He assured that the Federal Government would be an active participant in turning the recommendations into actions.
He said, “I am confident of the same level of willingness of the Governments of Cameroon Chad and Niger, evidenced by their presence here today.
“Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to assure all our partners in this effort of the government’s commitment towards working with you for a sustainable peaceful and prosperous region.
“ We also wish to assure you of our unwavering determination to address the crisis and rebuild the livelihoods of people who have been affected.’’
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.
Aside Nigeria, the event also attracted delegates from Cameroon, Chad and Niger—countries straddling Lake Chad.