By Michael Olugbode in Maiduguri
The inaugural meeting of the Lake Chad Basin Governorsâ€™ Forum is to be held on 8 and 9 May, 2018 in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The Forum, which is made up of 11 governors of states mostly affected by the receding Lake and cutting across cutting across West and Central African region, will meet to promote continuous dialogue and information-sharing/exchanges to strengthen coordination and collaboration on cross-border initiatives at the sub-national level to support peace building and conflict prevention efforts and provide a path for sustainable development and peace.
Addressing a joint press conference of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Borno State Government on Wednesday in Maiduguri, Eno Jonathan, the Communication Analyst of UNDP, said six North East Nigeria states are members of the Forum, a governor from Chad and two each from Chad and Niger.
She said the expected outcome of the inaugural meeting include the establishment of regional dialogue forum for governors of the Lake Chad Basin; ensure a bottom-up approach and bringing the gap between local and international efforts to stabilize the Lake Chad Basin, including the development of the regional stabilization strategy.
Jonathan also said expected is the promotion of cross-border cooperation around stabilization, peace building and conflict prevention at the sub-national level.
She said a total of 150 participants have been formally invited, including Residents Ambassadors, International Development and donor partners, traditional leaders, and a number of civil society and Non-government organisations (NGOs) as well as press and media.
She revealed that expected as guest of honour is President Muhammadu Buhari, with other dignitaries including Dr. Ibn Chambas, UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Francois Lounceny Fall, UN Special Representative for the Secretary-General for Central Africa (UNOCA), Ambassador Zaina Nyiranatama, Special Representative of the AFRICAN Union (SRCC) to the Lake Chad Basin, governors from North East Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger Republic, making statements.
She said Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, Executive Secretary of the Lake Chad Basin Commission will serve as the Principal Moderator for the formal session.
Speaking for the host, the Borno State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Information and Culture, Dr. Mohammed Bulama who was represented by the Special Adviser on the ministry to Borno State Governor, Tukur Mshelia said preparation is in top gear.
He said: â€œThe a Borno State Government is fully prepared to host the the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, Governors of the Lake Chad Basin area from Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria their representatives, international dignitaries and all invited stakeholders, by providing them with the best accommodation, security and all other logistics to ensure a successful conference is held here in Maiduguri, Borno State.â€