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Buhari backs Chad transition leader’s democratic restoration plan

By News Desk

President Muhammadu Buhari has thrown his administration support the President, Transitional Military Council of Chad,Lt. Gen. Mahamat Itno, saying Nigeria would assist the country to stabilize, and return to constitutional order.

He added that Nigeria would explore all available options, including rallying African neighbours and international communities in ensuring smooth transition from military to democratic leadership in the country.

The president who gave the assurance on Friday at State House, Abuja, while hosting Itno, maintained that both nation was bound by many things and that his administration would stop at nothing toward stabilizing the country

“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,” president Buhari told his visitor.

The Nigerian president said that 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.

Buhari further assured that 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.”

On his part, 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 Buhari that “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.”

It would be recalled that Chadian former leader, Marshal Idris Deby Itno, died in battle last month, while leading troops to confront insurgents, who had come in through Libya. After his death, 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.

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