President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the death of former Chadian leader, Idriss Deby, would have an adverse effect on West Africa’s battle against insurgency and other insecurity challenges.
Buhari while expressing sadness over the sudden and tragic death Deby on the front line, fighting against rebel soldiers, described the former president as a gallant leader.
Reacting to the incident on Tuesday through a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, Buhari said that he was deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden death of the Chadian leader on the battlefront to defend the sovereignty of his country.
According to the President, the late Deby had played a very active role in our regional joint collaboration in the military campaign against the Boko Haram terrorists.
Buhari described the late Chadian leader “as a friend of Nigeria who had enthusiastically lent his hand in our efforts to defeat the murderous Boko Haram terrorists that have posed grave security challenges not only for Nigeria but also our African neighbours, particularly Chad, Cameroon, and Niger Republic.”
He added that “the death of Deby will surely create a big vacuum in the efforts to jointly confront the Boko Haram terrorists and the Islamic State West Africa Province.”
While condoling with the people of Chad and their new leader, Buhari called for greater collaboration to defeat the terrorists.
The deceased who was newly re-elected reportedly died on Tuesday from injuries sustained during frontline battles against rebels in the northern part of the country’s Sahel.
Deby was reported to have visited the soldiers battling rebels, to boost their morale, over the weekend, but was caught in the web of the battle and sustained injuries that later resulted in his death.
After the face-off against the group, Front for Change and Concord in Chad (FACT), no fewer than 300 rebels were said to have died and 150 captured in Kanem province, around 300 kilometres from the country’s capital, Ndjamena.
Confirming the former leader’s death, the country’s army, in a statement read by its spokesman, General Azem Agouna, on Tuesday, stated that five soldiers were killed during the face-off and 36 were injured.
Apparently, sadden by the new development, the country’s military described Deby as one that breathed his last defending the sovereignty of the West African nation on the battlefield.