President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over “the sudden and tragic death of President Idriss Deby of Chad on the front line, fighting against “rebel soldiers.”
A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), on Tuesday, said in a reaction to the death of the Chadian President, Buhari stated: “I’m deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden death of Idriss Deby on the battlefront to defend the sovereignty of his country.”
The statement further quoted the president as saying: “The late Deby had played a very active role in our regional joint collaboration in the military campaign against the Boko Haram terrorists.”
President Buhari described the late Deby “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 the 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, President Buhari called for greater collaboration to defeat the terrorists.
Buhari had in March this year hosted the late Chadian leader in Abuja for bilateral talks.
The two leaders discussed various issues including the region’s security and the recharging of Lake Chad.
Only on Monday, President Buhari extended heartfelt condolences to Deby in the wake of the ethnic clashes in the South Eastern Region of Salamat that claimed several lives.
“I am shocked and saddened by the incident that shattered decades of relative peace and stability in Chad,” President Buhari had said, adding that “ethnic and tribal clashes is a threat to African unity and stability and Nigeria joins the rest of Africa to deplore the latest eruption of violence in Chad.”
Underscoring the need for African leaders and people to manage their diversity with tolerance and understanding, President Buhari noted that “a threat to stability in one part of Africa is a threat to the rest of us.”
According to President Buhari “given Africa’s economic and social challenges, we cannot afford mutual destruction that makes our challenges more complicated.”