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‘We’ll help in all ways we can’, Buhari assures Chadian interim president

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PRESIDENT Buhari has assured the Chadian transitional leader, Lt. Gen. Mahamat Idris Deby Itno, that Nigeria will assist the country to stabilise, and return to constitutional order. Buhari stated this today at State House, Abuja, while hosting the President of Chad’s Transitional Military Council. “We are bound together by culture and geography, and we will help in all ways we can,” President Buhari told his visitor. “Nigerians know and appreciate the role Chad played in helping us to combat terrorism, and we will continue the collaboration.” Idris Deby, Mahamat father, died last month after 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 described  Deby as “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; “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.” Recall that President Buhari had expressed sadness over the sudden and tragic death of Deby. The president lamented that “the late Deby had played a very active role in our regional joint collaboration in the military campaign against the Boko Haram terrorists.” They both met in March before his demise barely a month after.

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