Written by Emmanuel Ogbeche

Don’t allow terrorists destabilise West Africa, Buhari urges ECOWAS

President Muhammadu Buhari, Saturday in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, urged ECOWAS leaders not to allow terrorist groups destabilise the region.

“Our region has made commendable progress in the realisation of its regional integration and we must not allow terrorist groups to destabilise our community and undermine the aspirations of our people for a safe, secure and prosperous environment,” President Buhari said in his speech at the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on Counter-Terrorism.

“It is, therefore, our collective responsibility not to let up but to win the fight against terrorism and stamp out the scourge from our region,” he added.

President Buhari, who joined other ECOWAS leaders for the special one-day Summit, which was also attended by leaders of Chad and Mauritania, decried that terrorism, today, has become a major security threat across the globe.

He warned that the activities of terrorist groups constitute a grave danger to peace and security in West Africa, the wider Sahel and the global community.

“The frequency of attacks, the determination and resilience of the terrorist groups as well as the ease with which they raise funds and acquire sophisticated weapons are matters of serious concern which should engage our attention as a community.

“Equally worrisome, is the continuing spread of the menace of terrorism in the region and the growing link between terrorism and organised crime.

“This is why we must not relent in our efforts until we defeat the monster completely.

“And the best way to achieve this objective is through coordinated regional actions and responses against terrorism, insurgency, banditry, inter-communal disputes while we also put in place policies and measures that will address their root causes including the re-establishment and protection of livelihoods,” he said.

Sharing the experience of Nigeria in fighting the scourge, the president told the summit:

“As a major victim of Boko Haram terrorist activities, Nigeria has remained resolute in efforts to combat and eradicate them in all their forms and manifestations.

“Our counter-terrorism strategy which includes prevention, prosecution and reconstruction is also in full compliance with the Yamoussoukro counter-terrorism strategy adopted by ECOWAS Member States.

“In combating terrorism and addressing the resultant humanitarian crisis, through regional and international collaboration, ECOWAS as a Regional Economic Cooperation, would need in partnership with the African Union, to galvanise international support and solidarity to combat and defeat this menace in our region”.

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