President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday declared that the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) of the Lake Chad Commission will defeat the Boko Haram terrorists by the end of this year.
He made the remark in Cotonou during the gala lunch held in his honour by the President of Benin Republic, Boni Yayi.
Buhari, who was on a one-day visit to Cotonou as the special guest of honor at the 55th independence anniversary of Benin Republic, commended Yayi for increasing the number of Benin troops to 800 for the MNJTF.
He stated, “And I assure you that we will defeat Boko Haram by the end of this year.”
Noting that he was overwhelmed by the honour of inviting him for the independence anniversary, and by bestowing the national honour of the Republic of Benin on him, he noted that even when he was a military head of state, Nigeria has always learnt to live peacefully with her neighbours.
He said: “I am impressed by your concern and critical approaches by increasing your contributions to the multinational task force of the Lake Chad Commission. This is a great sacrifice on the part of the Benin Republic….
“Even in my first coming into office under a different arrangement, we have learnt to live in peace with our neighbours. Within the week I was sworn in, I went to Niger, Chad. I was supposed to go to Cameroon but I was summoned by the G7 leaders to brief them about the security situation in Nigeria concerning Boko Haram which declared allegiance to ISIS which gives it international dimension”.
Speaking earlier, Yayi had pledged that his country was ready to send about 800 troops as part of its contributions to the fight against terrorism.
He promised that his country would collaborate with Nigeria in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.
“Your Excellency, I am by your side. You are not alone. We are ready to send about 800 men,” he stated
According to him, the Republic of Benin is the 37th state of Nigeria as he described Buhari as a man of integrity who was concerned about the integration of the sub-region.
He said: “You are a man of integrity. The integration of the sub-region is your concern. Your coming here brings our two countries together. Our customs services should meet about economy. Benin is the 37th state of Nigeria.”