According to President Muhammadu Buhari, the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine is to blame for the majority of the insecurity in Nigeria and the Sahel region.
President Buhari made this announcement at the 16th Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC).
The President called for increased vigilance and tighter border security in a statement signed by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity. He drew attention to the increased quantity of arms, ammunition, and other weapons from the Russia and Ukraine war in the Lake Chad Basin.
President Buhari was quoted saying:
“However, it must be noted that despite the MNJTF’s valiant soldiers’ achievements and the numerous continuing national operations in the area, terrorist threats continue to exist.
“Unfortunately, the situation in the Sahel and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine both contribute significantly to the arms and fighters used to strengthen the terrorists’ numbers in the Lake Chad region. The Lake Chad region and other Sahel regions continue to get a sizable amount of the weapons and ammunition acquired to wage the conflict in Libya.
“Weapons being used for the war in Ukraine and Russia are equally beginning to spread to the region.
“This illegal movement of weaponry into the region has increased the spread of small arms and light weapons, which continues to endanger the regional community’s common peace and security. Therefore, it is important for our border control agencies and other security services to work together quickly to block the distribution of any illegal firearms in the area.
“The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), according to the President, merited praise for a number of actions that have demonstrably increased stability in the Lake Chad Basin.
“The necessity of increased cooperation among the defense forces of the region in the face of a common aggressor was undoubtedly pushed to the fore by the menace of Boko Haram terrorism in the Lake Chad area. I am happy that we were able to respond to the challenge through the Multinational Joint Task Force, demonstrating beyond a shadow of a doubt that the area is capable of finding the best solutions to its problems if it has the necessary commitment and resolve.
“The MNJTF has in fact established itself as a role model by dismantling obstacles and demonstrating the viability of the regional strategy for dealing with problems.
“Let me therefore take this opportunity to express my gratitude for the tireless efforts of the officers and personnel of the Multinational Joint Task Force and our various National Armed Forces, who continue to make incredible sacrifices in the battle against terrorism in the region.
“The sacrifices made by some of these brave soldiers in the line of duty for the preservation and restoration of stability in the region, as well as their memories, “will never be forgotten,”