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Boko Haram: Jonathan Visits Chadian President, Idris Deby for the Second Time in Two Months

For the second time in two months, President Goodluck Jonathan met yesterday with President Idris Deby of Chad on how to tackle the Boko Haram menace.

The talks came barely few days after a political associate of Chadian President was arrested along Chadian-Sudan border, allegedly with 19 SAM2 missiles meant for Boko Haram.

The Presidency described Jonathan’s meeting with Deby as “bilateral”, but The Nation gathered that the session might have to do with the botched ceasefire deal with the sect for the release of the abducted 219 Chibok girls.

According to sources, the President’s trip was connected with the ongoing regional collaboration to end the Boko Haram insurgency.

A source, who pleaded not to be named, said: “The trip was rated as bilateral but it was not unconnected with Boko Haram and the negotiation with the sect for freedom for the abducted Chibok girls.

“The truth is that everyone has come to realise that Chad is vital to any solution to the insurgency in the Northeast because Boko Haram is said to have a solid base in that country.

“Nigerian President went to Chad to review the insurgency, compare notes and weigh the status of the ongoing ceasefire negotiation with the sect.”

A security source said Nigeria was working on a tentative timeline to end the insurgency by December and it might require a total declaration of war against the insurgents.

The source said: “With the December target, the Federal Government may have no choice than to move decisively against the insurgents. This involves putting all Nigerian neighbours, such as Cameroon, Chad and Niger on the alert.

“There is no way Nigerian military will not chase these insurgents to some of these neighbouring countries.

“The government has been pushed to the wall. Imagine the dastardly killing of 48 fish traders and blockade of a route linking Nigeria with Chad near Doron Baga in Borno State.

“The government is now desperate to deal with the situation in the Northeast before it spreads to other states.”

The President told reporters that Boko Haram had a lot of external influence from outside Africa and it had become even more imperative for all countries in the region to work together to overcome terrorism and other criminal activities across their borders.

“If you look at the economies of Nigeria and Chad both are linked. The Boko haram people don’t take permission to move from Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria.

“If the countries do not cooperate,   we will not find it easy to win the war, because when the heat is strong in one country, the criminals and terrorists will go to another one and hide.

“So we must work together and we are discussing along that line,’’ President Jonathan told reporters.

He said that discussions between both countries on cooperation in the ICT sector were ongoing and expressed optimism that more proficient use of modern technology will help greatly to address economic and security challenges in the region.

President Jonathan who was accompanied on the one-day official visit by Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Aminu Wali and the Director-General the National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ayodele Oke.

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