President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed confidence that with the consolidation of joint patrols, military operations and intelligence sharing by Nigeria and its neighbours, as agreed by their leaders in Niamey on October 7, 2014, the activities of the Boko Haram sect and other criminal groups across the border will be curtailed soon.
Reuben Abati, Presidential Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, said the President mentioned this while welcoming the Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs of Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic who visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday.
The ministers who are in Abuja to work out a legal framework for the cross-border military operations approved by the neighbouring Heads of State in Niamey, announced plans to step up the fight against Boko Haram.
“I am quite pleased with the decisions we took in Niamey to enhance and boost joint actions against Boko Haram and other cross-border criminals because we have to work together to defeat Boko Haram and other extremist groups in our sub-region.
“I believe that if we cooperate more and monitor our borders closely, the movement of criminals and terrorists as well as small arms and ammunition across our shared borders will also be drastically reduced,” Jonathan said.
The President further enthused that with their collective experience and professionalism, he expected the visiting ministers and Nigeria to come up with an effective action plan for the successful implementation of the decisions reached by the leaders of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin Republic at the meeting held in Niamey.
A communiqué issued after the meeting stated that a multinational force command centre that will be headed by a chief of staff will be in place by November 20.
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