President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged Nigeria’s readiness to assist the Republic of Chad to stabilise and return to constitutional order, asking the country’s new leader to seek help without hesitation.
“We are bound together by culture and geography, and we will help in all ways we can,” President Buhari said.
The President spoke yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, while hosting Lt. Gen. Mahamat Idris Deby Itno, the President, Transitional Military Council of Chad.
Marshal Idris Deby Itno, former President of the country, had died in battle last month while leading troops to confront insurgents, who had come in through Libya.
The country set up the transitional council headed by the son of the deceased, and a return to democratic order is expected in 18 months.
Buhari stated that, “Nigerians know and appreciate the role Chad played in helping us to combat terrorism, and we will continue the collaboration.”
The President said the late Marshal Itno “was a personal friend, and a friend of Nigeria, and Chad has been very steadfast in defending Nigeria,” adding that the country should not hesitate to ask for help in areas it deemed necessary.
Buhari said Nigeria would help strengthen the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
“We will also help you to ensure a smooth transition in 18 months, as you have promised your people,” he added. The Chadian leader thanked Nigeria for the solidarity shown after the passage of the former President, noting that the main objective of the TMC “is the security and cohesion of our country.”
He recommitted to democratic, free, fair polls in 18 months, telling Buhari: “You were very close to Marshal Itno. I’m here to reaffirm that relationship, and for you to support our transition.
“We rely on our brother country Nigeria, as we have shared history, culture and geography. We are ready to be guided by you in our journey to constitutional rule.”