General Abdurrahman Dambazau (retired), a former Chief of Army Staff, claims that insurgency has spread beyond Nigeria and is now a threat to roughly 15 countries in West Africa, including the Benin Republic.
“This (insecurity) has become a regional issue because it is an issue that has engulfed the whole of the Lake Chad Basin region and it is an issue that also has a connection with the Sahel region as a whole.
“It is a regional issue and even Benin (Republic), our neighbour is getting a touch of it,” Dambazau said on Channels Television’s current affairs programme, NewsNight.
Dambazau, who served as Nigeria’s Minister of Interior from November 2015 to May 2019, and as COAS from August 2008 to September 2010, noted that until recently, nations in the Lake Chad Basin like Chad and the Niger Republic believed that terrorism was Nigeria’s main problem.
“Initially, some of those countries in the Lake Chad Basin did not show much concern about it, that it was Nigeria’s problem until it became very much a reality that it was a regional problem.”
However, he claimed that through the Multinational Joint Task Force, which was set up by the Nigerian government to address trans-border security issues, the nations have now joined the battle against terrorism.
“Even Benin Republic which is not a member of the Lake Chad Basin Commission is contributing towards that because it is also a threat to it. It is a threat to the whole of West Africa,” the ex-Army chief said.