In a bid to consolidate on the recent successes recorded against Islamic militants Boko Haram, The Federal Government has said that it is looking to acquire more weapons and equipment to prosecute what it feels will be the final lap in the battle against violent Islamic extremism.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffery Onyeama, announced that government is discussing with China and other friendly countries for the supply of the required weapons. Onyeama disclosed this on Friday during a media chat in Abuja on the ongoing 2nd Regional Security Summit with the theme: “Consolidating Collective efforts for Regional Peace and Development”.
He stated this in response to the request by the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) for a number of platforms, weapons, and logistics required to sustain the ongoing operations in the North East and Lake Chad Basin area that has contiguous borders with Niger, Chad and Cameroun.
“The MNJTF has made tremendous progress in the last one year. Like Mr. President alluded there was at a time about 14 LGAs were under the Boko Haram control but today they are no longer in control. We are also working together with the frontline states in the areas of intelligence sharing. So in the military dimension we are going to look at the mechanism of cooperation and coordination.
“On the need for more weapons and others, we are engaging with various partners like China, which has asked us to indicate where we will need military assistance as well as other Western countries. The goodwill is there for assistance from our friends and partners. So it’s just the resources and process to get those equipment.”
The Commander of MNJTF, Maj-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, had earlier at the summit disclosed that the regional military body made up of the troops from the member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LBC), is in need of lift capability, IEDs/Mine Detection capability, and other logistic requirements.
Adeosun also noted that despite the immense successes recorded in the past one year, more finances will be needed to sustain security and order in the region. He listed some of challenges confronting them. In his words,
“They include inadequate Lift Capability, Limitation on IEDs/Mine Capability, Inadequate Amphibious Equipment and Lack of Flat Bottom Boat, Lack of Air Capability, Difficulty in Sustaining Troops”.
He went further to recommend that “the MNJTF lift capability should be enhanced by the troop contributing countries; mine/IEDs detection and destruction equipment and capability should be enhanced across the sectors”.
He also requested for “adequate troops’ sustenance in terms of operational allowances, ration and fast-moving medical supplies to be ensured; as well as flat bottom boats with outboard engines to be provided form MNJTF effective operations within the Lake Chad Islands.