President Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday decried the ease with which Boko Haram terrorists raise funds and acquire sophisticated weapons to carry out attacks.
Buhari also described as worrisome, the continuous spread of terorist activities in the region and the growing link between terrorism and organised crime, stating that unless leaders in the sub-region rise to their responsibilities, the sub-region could be overun by insurgents.
President Buhari, according to a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina made the discosure in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, while addressing the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of the Economic Community of West African States’ Heads of State and Government on Counter-Terrorism.
He called on leaders of ECOWAS member states to step up efforts to end terrorism in West Africa.
Buhari was quoted to have said, “Our region has made commendable progress in the realisation of its regional integration and we must not allow terrorist groups to destabilise our Community (ECOWAS) and undermine the aspirations of our people for a safe, secure and prosperous environment.
“It is, therefore, our collective responsibility not to let up but to win the fight against terrorism and stamp out the scourge from our region.
“The frequency of attacks, the determination and resilience of the terrorist groups as well as the ease with which they raise funds and acquire sophisticated weapons are matters of serious concern, which should engage our attention as a Community.
‘’Equally worrisome is the continuous spread of the menace of terrorism in the region and the growing link between terrorism and organised crime. This is why we must not relent in our efforts until we defeat the monster completely.
“And the best way to achieve this objective is through coordinated regional actions and responses against terrorism, insurgency, banditry and inter-communal disputes, while we also put in place policies and measures that will address their root causes including the re-establishment and protection of livelihoods.”
The Nigerian leader lamented that the Lake Chad Basin, which used to serve as “an area abundant in natural resources providing livelihoods to tens of millions of people”, has become an abode of terrorists.
“The area has become an abode for terrorist groups and extremists,” he lamented.
He, therefore, called on West African countries to “galvanise international support and solidarity to combat and defeat this menace in our region”