By Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni
Abuja – The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, has called for synergy between the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states, to combat terrorism.
Olonisakin said this during the 39th Ordinary Meeting of the Committee of Chiefs of Defence Staff (CCDS), held at ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja.
He said that there was need to intensify intelligence gathering, joint and combined operations to combat the menace.
According to him, there is a growing trend of local terrorist organisations getting support from international terrorist organisations, which is becoming worrisome, adding that these trend portends great danger for our collective security.
“It is a matter of concern that terrorism and violent extremism have continued to threaten the peace and security of our sub-region.
“ This trend calls for collective action on the part of each member state as well as collaboration with other stakeholders and partners.
Olonisakin, who is also the newly appointed Chairman of ECOWAS CCDS, said that the sub-region was currently plagued with security threats, which include maritime piracy.
“I think we collectively deserve some commendation for holding the hope high in the midst of daunting security challenges facing the region.
“The sub-region is currently plagued with a number of security threats ranging from insurgency, terrorism and other indigenous crimes, this security threat also includes those in the maritime domain.
“Such as piracy, arms, human and drugs trafficking, oil theft bunkering and other vices at sea.
“The insecurity threat as been made worse by the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, occasioned by the numerous porous borders within the sub-region.”
He, however, said that the frequent interaction of ECOWAS Chiefs of Defence Staff and efforts of political leaders towards peace and stability in the region will be fruitful.