President Muhammadu Buhari has already shaken off the shock of the killing of his chief war commander in a plane crash last Friday to summon an extraordinary summit of heads of state and government of Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. The sub-regional leaders called up were the Presidents of Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum and Central African Republic, Prof. Faustin Touadera
Others were Lt. Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby, President of the Transitional Military Council of the Republic of Chad, while Cameroon’s President Paul Biya, was represented at the meeting. The rest were representatives of Mohamed Al-Menfi, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya, and the Sudanese President.
The leaders were expected to discuss the growing security threats in the Sahel and Lake Chad region, political relations and economic ties as well as the situation in Chad.The Executive Secretary of ICBC and Head of mission of the Multinational Joint Task Force are expected to make presentations on the situation in Chad. The head of the country’s transitional government, Lt.-Gen. Mahamat Idriss Deby, would also address the summit on developments in his country as well as other relevant issues.
President Buhari, who is the chair of leaders of LCBC member-countries, had asked for a minute silence in honour of the late Chadian President, Marshal Idriss Deby, who was killed by rebels on April 19. Apart from Chad, the extraordinary summit would deliberate on the issue of Islamic State and the challenges that they pose to the member states as well as the Lake Chad environment. It observed that the resilience of Boko Haram and the Islamic State in the Lake Chad Basin had been unprecedented in recent times
The leaders were also expected to discuss the issue of transfer of water from the Central African Republic into the Chad Basin. The lake is drying up at a terrifying speed, forcing a southward migration of several farming and fishing communities.
A communique on the outcome of the summit was expected at the close of the deliberations of the sub-regional leaders later yesterday. We wish them the best.