From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the President, Transitional Military Council of Chad, Lt. Gen. Mahamat Idris Deby Itno, not to hesitate to ask for help in areas he deemed necessary.
According to him, the late Marshal Idris Deby Itno “was a personal friend, and a friend of Nigeria, and Chad has been very steadfast in defending Nigeria.”
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari pledged that, Nigeria will assist the Republic of Chad to stabilize, and return to constitutional order.
The President spoke Friday at State House, Abuja, while hosting Lt. Gen. Deby Itno.
Marshal Idris Deby Itno, 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.
“We are bound together by culture and geography, and we will help in all ways we can,” Buhari told his visitor. “Nigerians know and appreciate the role Chad played in helping us to combat terrorism, and we will continue the collaboration.”
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.”