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Buhari pledges to help stabilise Chad

*Hosts new Chadian leader

President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to assist the neighbouring Republic of Chad to stabilise and return to constitutional order.

He made the pledge on Friday at the State House, Abuja, while hosting Lt. Gen. Mahamat Idris Deby Itno, the President, Transitional Military Council of Chad.

Mahamat replaced his father, Marshal Idris Deby Itno, who as President had died in battle last month, while leading troops to confront insurgents that infiltrated the country through Libya.

The transitional council set up in the aftermath of the events, has announced plans for a return to democratic order in 18 months.

“We are bound together by culture and geography, and we will help in all ways we can,” President Buhari told Mahamat.

“Nigerians know and appreciate the role Chad played in helping us to combat terrorism, and we will continue the collaboration.”

The Nigerian President said the late Marshal Itno “was a personal friend, and a friend of Nigeria, and Chad has been very steadfast in defending Nigeria,” so the country should not hesitate to ask for help in areas it deemed necessary.

President Buhari said Nigeria would help strengthen the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), adding that “we will also help you to ensure a smooth transition in 18 months, as you have promised your people.”

Lt. Gen. Itno thanked Nigeria for the solidarity shown after the passage of the former President, noting that the main objective of the Transitional Military Council “is the security and cohesion of our country.”

He recommitted to democratic, free, fair polls in 18 months, telling President 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.”

Written by ExpressDay


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