By Raphael Jov, Abuja
The 7th meeting of the Ministers of Defence of the Community of Sahel-Saharan states (CEN-SAD) comprising 28 African countries will hold in Abuja from June 20th to June 22 nd 2018 at the Transcorp Hilton with members expected to deliberate on the threat of ISIS secretly recruiting commanders and other insurgent members into Nigeria and other countries in the sub-region.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Mrs. Nuratu Batagarawa who made disclosure at a briefing in Abuja, noted that the sub-regional body which was established in Tripoli, Libya on the 4 th of February 1998, has three major objectives which are, to promote amongst member states, cooperation in the field of Defence and Security, as well as tackle the thorny of insecurity across the sub-region.
Others are to establish a sub-regional economic union integrating investment in fields of agriculture, industry and energy, as well as social and cultural sectors and to facilitate the development of transportation means, such as road, sea and air, as well as communication means between member states.
“In furtherance of its objectives, the organization holds its conferences rotating the hosting right amongst its Arabic, francophone and Anglophone member countries. While the 2016 conference took place in Sharm Al-Sheik, Egypt; that of 2017 was hosted by Cote D’Iviore. It is Nigeria’s singular honour to host the 7th conference”, She said.
Mrs. Batagarawa continued, “At the national level, it is gratifying that the gains accruing from Nigeria’s Campaign against Terror and insurgency are being consolidated in so many fronts. Operation safe Corridor programme of Nigeria, for instance is worth emulating by other CEN-SAD member states.
“The operation is aimed at addressing the suffering of the people in the North east and fast-tracking the peace process. It is supposed to de-radicalize, rehabilitate and reintegrate surrendered insurgents.
“There is also the counter terrorism center at Nigeria’s office of the National Security Adviser to tackle the root causes of radicalization and proffer appropriate solutions. The center also helps in countering radical ideologies of fundamental groups in Nigeria.
“In addition, the presidential committee on the North East Initiative (PCNI) serves as the primary national strategy, as well as coordination and advisory body for all humanitarian interventions and developmental efforts in the north east of Nigeria.
“The PCNI is also designed to oversee all remedial programmes aimed at addressing the crisis in the north east since 2009. This is being handled in collaboration with the office of the minister of state, budget and planning”, the Perm Sec added.