Details Of Tinubu’s Meeting With Ghana’s President, Others, At High-Level African Meeting Emerge

Details Of Tinubu’s Meeting With Ghana’s President, Others, At High-Level African Meeting Emerge

  • President Bola Tinubu has lamented that billions of dollars that governments should be using to make society better are now diverted to terrorism response
  • Tinubu said establishing an all-inclusive African Union ministerial committee on counter-terrorism is a high priority
  • Ghana's president, Nana Akufo Addo; Nuhu Ribadu, Nigeria's national security adviser (NSA); Amina Mohammed, the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations (UN), among others, were present at a high-level African meeting in Abuja

FCT, Abuja—President Bola Tinubu, on Monday, April 22, called for establishing a regional counterterrorism centre.

According to Tinubu, the regional counter-terrorism centre, if formed, will serve as a hub for intelligence sharing, operational coordination, and capacity building throughout Africa.

President Bola Tinubu says Africa must address poverty and social injustice issues
African high-level meeting on counter-terrorism was held in Abuja on Monday, April 22. Photo credit:@DOlusegun
Source: UGC

Speaking at the African high-level meeting on Counterterrorism in Abuja, Tinubu said Africa must take a comprehensive approach to combating terrorism, not only through might but also by addressing the root causes of the scourge, which include poverty, inequality, and social injustice.

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President Tinubu emphasised that while seeking to address the root causes of terrorism, Africa must also attack the roots that feed this evil branch -- ransom and illegal mining -- as terrorism evolves and perfects ways to continuously finance, re-equip, and re-supply itself for its sinister mission.

The Nigerian leader said:

"Not only does it kidnap people, it kidnaps precious resources. Billions upon billions of dollars that legitimate governments should be using to sculpt better societies by providing education, healthcare, and food for its people now go to pay for weapons and response to mayhem.
"Look at the illegal mining that plagues so many of our nations today. Those who think illegal mining has no connection with financing terrorism are sorely mistaken. The international community has both the moral and legal obligation to help in this cause because it is external finance, not African money, that fuels these illegal operations. We shall be knocking on this door of the international community to answer this call for justice, peace, and fair play.

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"Key to our collective efforts against terrorism is the urgent need for a fully operational Regional Counter-Terrorism Centre."

Tinubu, however, added that the African region must strengthen existing counter-terrorism structures, such as the Regional Intelligence Fusion Unit (RIFU) in Abuja, the African Centre for the Study and Research on Terrorism (ACSRT) in Algiers, and the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa (CISSA) in Addis Ababa.

He underscored the importance of a regional standby force that includes tackling terrorism as part of its mandate, declaring: "It must not be abandoned."

Tinubu continued:

"I am mindful of the funding, legal, and logistical complexities that face the proper establishment of such a force. However, with a prudent and clearly defined mandate that accords with the international law and respects national sovereignty, such a force can serve as a rapid deployment mechanism, capable of swiftly responding to major threats and bolstering the security of our region.

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"Such a force can stand as a strong deterrent to large scale and protracted terrorist operations and the capture, occupation or disruption of strategic land and resources. We must continue to make careful yet meaningful progress toward this goal.
"Establishing an all-inclusive African Union Ministerial Committee on Counter Terrorism is also a high priority as envisaged in the Declaration of the 16th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union Assembly two years ago in May 2022. This would ensure that a forum of high-level government officials meets regularly to assess our counter-terrorism efforts and provide guidance on how to further improve."

Speaking on the efforts of Nigeria in beating the menace, President Tinubu said his country's counter-terrorism capabilities have been enhanced through the enactment of the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act, establishing the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).

Ghana's president, Nana Akufo Addo; Nuhu Ribadu, Nigeria's national security adviser (NSA); Femi Gbajabiamila, Tinubu's chief of staff (CoS); Amina Mohammed, the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations (UN); Nyesom Wike, the minister of the federal capital territory (FCT), among others, were all present at the meeting.

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Read more on counter-terrorism in Nigeria

Akufo-Addo urges ECOWAS members to engage Sahelian states has reported that President Akufo-Addo has expressed grave concern about the withdrawal of Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger from ECOWAS and its impact on the Accra Initiative.

He said without the participation of the Sahelian countries, the Accra Initiative would be greatly undermined, and it could lead to the rise of violent extremism in the region.

He has urged member states to actively engage in dialogue with the Sahelian states to rejoin the fold.


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