Borno State Governor Professor Babagana Zulum and seven other governors of the Lake Chad Basin met on Monday in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to discuss regional security cooperation and the way forward for it. improve stability.
The region, due to the Lake Chad recession and resulting impoverishment, has been plagued by Boko Haram for more than a decade.
The governors were from the regions surrounding Lake Chad in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon and Chad.
A statement from Zulum spokesman Mallam Isa Gusau said on Tuesday that his principal joined seven other governors of the Lake Chad basin on Monday in Yaoundé, Cameroon, to discuss regional security cooperation and the way forward to improve stability.
He revealed that the meeting brought together six governors, including Zulum de Borno, Issa Lamine from Diffa in the Republic of Niger; Midjiyawa Bakari from the Far North of Cameroon; Abate Edii Jean from the Northern Region of Cameroon; Mahamat Fadoul Mackaye from Lake Province in Chad and Amina Kodjyana Agnes-Hadjer Lami also from Chad, while the governors of Adamawa and Yobe states in northeast Nigeria were represented.
He said the meeting organized by the Lake Chad Basin Commission, with technical support from the African Union, the United Nations Development Program and the Crisis Management Initiative, was organized by the Cameroonian government. in collaboration with the Forum of Governors of Lake Chad.
According to him, the meeting, which was declared open by the Cameroonian Prime Minister, Joseph Dion Ngute, accompanied by the mayor of Yaoundé, Mr. Luc Messi Atangana, addressed security issues with a focus on terrorist attacks and humanitarian impacts in the region; and also reviewed the implementation of regional stabilization strategies, which were adopted in 2019, at a similar meeting in Niamey, Republic of Niger. Gusau noted that Zulum, in his contributions, presented Borno’s position and called for the need to significantly increase the level of cross-border security cooperation before strategic and territorial action plans can work.
“All of these territorial action plans can never be achievable without security, the first thing we need across the region is to address security concerns, especially on the shores of Lake Chad. It is necessary to undertake comprehensive security operations on the shores of Lake Chad in order to eliminate the insurgents, otherwise we will not go anywhere, ”Zulum said.
The governor of Borno expressed great concern over the non-use of the shores of the Lake Chad basin, which he noted could offer enormous economic potential for the benefit of the people of the region.
Already, he said, the Borno government has started making efforts to establish free trade zones in Banki town, Bama local government area, Gamboru in Ngala, Baga in Kukawa and Damasak. in the Mobbar local government area to improve socio-economic activities in the lake. region in accordance with the territorial action plans for stabilization.
The governor, however, called on member states to commit to identifying and addressing the root causes of the Boko Haram crisis and to combining measures other than military operations.
He further raised the issues of de-radicalized people previously associated with Boko Haram, and highlighted measures for youth engagement, through education, skills training and social development programs.