Buhari, Niger’s new president meet, vow to tackle Boko Haram together
President Bazoum of Niger Republic and President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday hosted the new President of Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum, in Abuja.
He said that Nigeria and Niger would do all it takes to secure their countries from Boko Haram attacks.
President Bazoum was led to Buhari by governors of some northern states, which share boundaries with the neighbouring country.
The governors are Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi); Babagana Zulum (Borno); Abdulahi Ganduje (Kano); Mai Mala Buni (Yobe); Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto); and Bello Matawalle (Zamfara).
The Minister of Defense, Major-General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd); Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva; the National Security Adviser NSA Major-General Babagana Monguno (Rtd); Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, were with the President to receive the guest.
The new president of Niger was inaugurated on April 2, 2021, after winning the elections held on December 27, 2020.
According to a statement by Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari assured the newly inaugurated president during the first international visit to Nigeria, “We will stabilize our region for the benefit of the two countries.”
President Buhari said Nigerians and Nigeriens are people with a similar culture, language and ways of life, “and we also share about 1,500 kilometres of land border, so we cannot ignore each other.”
Congratulating Bazoum on winning the recent presidential election, and his successful inauguration into office, Buhari said, “You have been in the system for a long time. The only thing is that you had never been President. Now you are one.”
On terrorism, as perpetrated by Boko Haram, President Buhari observed that the Republic of Niger also suffers high casualties, vowing; “We will do all it takes to secure our two countries.”
President Buhari was thankful for the immediate past President, Mahamadou Issoufou, for what he called “his understanding and sacrifices” to help stabilise the region, urging the successor to maintain the institutions his predecessor had established.
President Bazoum said he was delighted to make Nigeria his first port of call, noting that the two countries have common interests, “and, therefore, a good relationship is very important.
On security, he observed that the fact that some Nigerians flee to Niger during terrorist attacks “shows that we need to cooperate, and we will face our challenges together.”