President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to do all within his powers to secure Nigeria and its neighbour, Niger Republic, from Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists attacks.
President Buhari, who spoke while hosting the new President of Niger Republic, Mohamed Bazoum, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said Niger Republic also suffers high casualties from terrorists’ attacks, adding that “we will do all it takes to secure our two countries.”
Buhari assured his Nigerien counterpart, who is in Nigeria on his first international visit after his inauguration on April 2, that he will stabilise the West African region for the benefit of the two countries.
The President described some Nigerians and Nigeriens as people with similar cultures, languages and ways of life, “and we also share about 1,500 kilometres of land border. So, we cannot ignore each other.”
He congratulated Bazoum on winning the recent Presidential election and for his successful inauguration.
Assuring him that Nigeria would assist his country in diverse ways as required, Buhari added: “You have been in the system for a long time. The only thing is that you had never been president. Now you are one.”
The Nigerian leader thanked the immediate past Nigerien President, Mahamadou Issoufou, for “his understanding and sacrifices” to help stabilise the region, urging his successor to maintain the institutions his predecessor had established.
Earlier, Bazoum had 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 stated 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.”
At the evening meeting were Governors of Northern States which share boundaries with his country, including Governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi; Babagana Zulum of Borno; Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano; Mai Mala Buni of Yobe; Aminu Waziri Tambuwal of Sokoto; and Bello Matawalle of Zamfara State.
Others present include Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd); Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva; National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd); Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.