The United Nations (UN) said yesterday that it has adopted a new strategy for assisting Nigeria in tackling the menace constituted by the Boko Haram sect.
This was disclosed by the special
representative of the United Nations
secretary-general for West Africa, Mr Said Djinnit, at the opening of the 45th ordinary session of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, and a two-day summit in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.
President Goodluck Jonathan left Abuja on Wednesday evening to Accra where he is also attending the ECOWAS summit.
Djinnit, who said the support of the sub-regional body to the counter-terrorism efforts of the federal government in tackling the Boko Haram scourge was satisfactory, noted that the strategy known as integrated support package was targeted at complementing ongoing
efforts by Nigeria which can only achieve results through a multi-dimensional approach.
According to him, the current support
from ECOWAS was also a reflection of the solidarity of the countries of the region and their legitimate concern about the spread of violent extremism.
The UN Envoy said, “The United Nations has adopted an integrated support package to complement Nigeria’s efforts, since we are convinced that only a multi-dimensional approach can bring lasting solution to the crisis.
“Our primary and immediate concern is the plight of children including in
particular those that are being held in
captivity by the terrorists, Boko Haram group, as well as the fate of the civilian population in the north-east where human rights and humanitarian conditions are distressing.”
Also, the heads of state and governments of the ECOWAS have promised that they would not rest on their oars in supporting Nigeria to combat the excesses of members of the sect. Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, who is currently chairman of the authority of heads of state and government of ECOWAS region, commended the establishment of peace operations in Cameroon and Chad to defeat the Boko Haram sect in north-eastern Nigeria. He said great opportunities lie ahead of the region for creating prosperous life for citizens but only when its leaders can achieve peace and security.
He said, “Less than two months ago,
precisely on 30th May, 2014, we met at this same venue for an extraordinary summit. The main purpose of that gathering was to review the security situation in our sub-region, specifically in northern Mali and some parts of northern Nigeria.
“Let me take the opportunity to thank all who are involved in the efforts to bring peace to our sub-region. We welcome the role of Algeria and Mauritania and others to bring peace to Mali. We acknowledge the peace operation from Cameroon and Chad to defeat the Boko Haram in north-eastern Nigeria.”
Other issues discussed at the opening
session of the meeting included the
proposed biometric identity cards for
ECOWAS citizens to aid easy identification and movement for trade purposes.
The lingering difficulty in doing business by citizens in the region was one of the concerns raised by the leaders.
At the meeting, they identified Illegal
checkpoints, unnecessary documentation requirements, substantial informal payments at borders and transit fees as some of the huddles inhibiting free trade.