By Charles Edet
National Detective Magazine. com.ng, November 24, 2022
Hope was rekindled in the security horizon of West Africa at the Accra Initiative Summit of Heads of State and Government on November 22, 2022.
Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari who attended the Summit, called on civil society organisations, non-governmental organisations, bilateral and multilateral development partners amongst others to support their host governments in the fight against terrorism and transnational organised crimes.
President Buhari who spoke in Accra, Ghana, at the Accra Initiative Summit of Heads of State and Government on November 22, 2022, said the fight against terrorism and other transnational crimes requires the active participation of members of all spheres of society, including non-state actors.
Represented by the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd) , The President expressed appreciation to the various partners of the Accra Initiative who keenly supported the actualisation of the various meetings taking place in Ghana.
Buhari said Nigeria was pleased to be present to observe the proceedings of the Accra Initiative, promised to take note of the report of the Non-State Actors Conference and Technical Meeting held respectively on 17th and 18th November, 2022.
The Accra Initiative was established in 2017 by Benin Republic, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana and Togo to prevent spillover of terrorism from the Sahel and to address transnational organised crime and violent extremism in member countries’ border areas.
While acknowledging the myriad of security challenges confronting West African countries, including terrorism, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, human and drug trafficking, illegal mining, and poaching amongst others, President Buhari commended the various efforts and activities of the Accra Initiative against terrorists and criminal elements.
He also promised to take note of the Communique of the 5th Extraordinary Session of Ministers in Charge of Security and Defence of the Accra Initiative and appoint a focal person to serve at the Accra Initiative Multinational Joint Force Headquarters in Tamale, Ghana.
In 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on security and intelligence cooperation among member countries of the Accra Initiative. Between 2018 and 2022, the Initiative carried out four joint military operations, known as Operation Koudanlgou.