Nigeria promises to help Chad transition smoothly to civil rule in 18 months
President Muhammadu Buhari has promised the Republic of Chad of Nigeria’s williness to help the country stabilise and return to democratic rule within 18 months.
The president said this on Friday at the State House, Abuja, while hosting Lt. Gen. Mahamat Idris Deby Itno, the President, Transitional Military Council of Chad.
According to the statement issued by the special adviser on media and publicity to the President, Femi Adesina he quoted the president as saying Nigeria will help the Republic of Chad to ensure a smooth transition in 18 months as the country had promised its people.
President Buhari also said Nigeria would help strengthen the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF).
“We are bound together by culture and geography, and we will help in all ways we can. Nigerians know and appreciate the role Chad played in helping us to combat terrorism, and we will continue the collaboration” he said.
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”, so the country should not hesitate to ask for help in areas it deemed necessary.
Speaking earlier, 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 former President of Chad, Marshal Idris Deby Itno, had died in battle last month, while leading troops to confront insurgents, who had come into the country through Libyan borders.
The country thereafter set up the transitional council, headed by the son of the deceased, Lt Gen. Mahamat Itno, and a return to democratic order is expected in 18 months.