From Molly Kilete, Abuja
The National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (retd), has raised concerns over alleged plans by secessionist groups in Nigeria to go into alliances with their counterparts in Cameroon to destabilise the peace and security of both countries.
He warned that the Federal Government would not allow any part of the country to be used as a haven or staging area by criminal groups to destabilise another friendly sovereign country.
Mungono said any attempt to form alliances between secessionist groups in Nigeria and Cameroon would be decisively dealt with, even as assured of the determination of the government to protect the lives and property of law-abiding citizens.
The NSA made this known at the opening of the eight-session of the Cameroon/Nigeria trans-border security committee holding in Abuja.
Gen Mungono said the warning has become necessary following an Intelligence report about the plans of some criminal groups who are bent on destabilising the peace of the country.
The NSA, while attributing the most dominant transnational security threats in the regions to terrorism being perpetrated by the Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) and Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs), said the terrorist groups are taking advantage of the nations porous borders to disrupt the livelihoods of innocent citizens in their communities.
He said the Federal Government would continue to support the efforts of the Cameroonian authorities by engaging all aggrieved parties to de-escalate the security concerns in the North West and South West regions of the country.
Speaking on the insecurity challenges in two countries, Mungono said: ‘Another emerging threat is the attempt by secessionist groups in Nigeria to form alliances with secessionist groups in Cameroon in order to destabilise both countries.
‘Let me re-emphasise what I mentioned in my Opening Remarks during the 6th Session in 2019; His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari reassures you that Nigeria’s territory will never be used as a haven or staging area by any group of secessionists to destabilise another friendly sovereign country.
‘In addition, we will work closely together to ensure that any real or perceived attempts to form any alliances between secessionist groups in Nigeria and Cameroon are decisively dealt with. “Furthermore, we will continue to support the efforts of the Cameroonian authorities by engaging all aggrieved parties to de-escalate the security concerns in the North West and South West regions of the country.
‘Let me also use this opportunity to stress the importance of expanding trade and investment in order to create a more viable and stable economy for our people.’
Mungono while noting that the meeting would consolidate the gains of previous meetings towards addressing the fluid and dynamic transborder security concerns between Cameroon and Nigeria, informed the gathering that the close counterterrorism collaboration between the two countries has significantly curtailed the activities of terrorists and other forms of criminality.
He congratulated the two countries for their courage, resilience, commitment and steadfastness towards ensuring peace and stability along with the border areas of Cameroon and Nigeria.
While calling for all hands to be on deck to secure the two countries from terrorists and other criminal groups, the NSA stated that ‘the work of securing our territorial borders is a collective responsibility and therefore we need to emphasise the importance of the sideline meetings of the governors of contiguous border states/regions. Their collaboration would no doubt assist in cross border security and development initiatives.
‘Furthermore, it is equally imperative to engage the border communities and the traditional/local authorities at the grassroots levels in translating the decisions of the governors forum into concrete actions. This can be done through the activation of the Local Bilateral Committees which can also serve as platforms for integration and revival of our historical and socio-cultural ties.
‘Our collective efforts under the auspices of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) to significantly degrade terrorist activities in the Lake Chad Basin is yielding positive outcomes. This multilateral platform in collaboration with our international partners needs to be further enhanced as we are witnessing the gradual movement of some terrorist groups from the Maghreb to the Sahel in order to form alliances. Nonetheless, we are also promoting series of developmental efforts in the northeastern part of the country to rehabilitate most of the isolated communities affected by the wanton destruction committed by terrorists.’
The NSA, who stressed the importance of expanding trade and investment to create a more viable and stable economy for the people of Nigeria Cameroon, said: ‘We must therefore consolidate our joint efforts to address all the current and emerging security threats affecting both countries.
‘This is due to the grave and unintended consequences of allowing such threats to thrive in our environment. Clearly, this underscores the collective resolve of our Presidents to continue to promote peace and stability in our respective countries. I strongly believe that both countries will surmount the similar and varied security challenges and even emerge stronger and more united.’
He expressed the hope that the meeting would produce a comprehensive communiqué that would provide workable solutions to our current and future transborder security challenges as that is the only way to create a secured environment for mutual and sustainable growth.
‘I am therefore optimistic that the respective delegates would ensure that the resolutions for this 8th Session would be geared towards enhancing peace and prosperity not only between the two countries but the entire sub-region,’ the NSA said.
The post Nigerian secessionist groups planning to form alliance with Cameron to destabilise region – NSA appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.