By Donald Ugwu
Abuja – The Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday received an AU Peace and Security Council (PSC) delegation and expressed satisfaction that the Lake Chad Basin neighbours were partnering to contain the Boko Haram.
At the reception, Osinbajo also stated that the countries in the Lake Chad Basin had worked together very well dealing with the insurgency in the region and the consequent humanitarian crisis.
The delegation from the African Union Peace and Security Council had been visiting countries in the region on a fact-finding mission on the crisis as part of its mandate.
“The Lake Chad Basin collaboration is one we are extremely proud of, where we as Africans are working together on our own issues.
“I am pleased to say the countries have worked greatly together,” the Acting President said.
He cited the progress already made by the Multi-National Joint Task Force set up to address the insurgency.
Osinbajo noted that unlike in the past when there were difficulties when the militaries of the four countries tried to work together, the MNJTF surmounted the challenges and had succeeded.
According to him, the Buhari administration is “extremely pleased with what we have seen, and we like to see more,” of such cooperation.
However, he observed that the humanitarian consequences of the insurgency were compounded by deep poverty, making the costs of dealing with the situation “huge and enormous.”
He noted that there existed no fewer than 2.4 million displaced persons, extensive destruction of property, infrastructure, schools, homes and farmlands in the North-East.
Osinbajo added that in some cases, the situation required the “rebuilding of whole societies.”
He expressed satisfaction with the work of the PSC of the AU.
“I am extremely pleased and encouraged by the work of the PSC, the time and attention paid to this issue.
“These are matters we must address now and in the future,” he said.
The PSC delegation was led by its Chairperson for the month of July, Amb. Bankole Adeoye, who is also Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and to the AU.
Adeoye told the Acting President that the PSC delegation had visited the four countries in the Lake Chad Basin in the past five weeks and had specifically visited seven cities in Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
“This visit is the high point of our mission,” Adeoye stated, adding that Nigeria’s commitment to peace in Africa had been well demonstrated.
The PSC is the standing organ of the AU for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts.
Membership of the 15-member council is drawn three each from Central, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Africa. (NAN)