President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday held a closed-door meeting with General Mahamat Idriss Deby, Chad’s Transitional Military leader in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
It was gathered that President Buhari received General Deby in the Presidential Villa at about 11:11 am.
Recall that Chadian Transitional Military Council has assured the global community that the country would return to civilian rule within 18 months.
This was just as President Muhammadu Buhari assures of Nigeria’s readiness to assist the Chad Republic in its transitional programme to return the country to constitutional rule within the set target period.
This was disclosed by President Buhari’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, while speaking at State House, Abuja, while hosting Lt. Gen. Mahamat Idris Deby Itno.
It would be recalled that Marshal Idris Deby Itno, the late President of the country, had died in battle last month, while leading troops to confront insurgents, who had come in through Libya.
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.
According to him, “We are bound together by culture and geography, and we will help in all ways we can,” President Buhari told his visitor.
“Nigerians know and appreciate the role Chad played in helping us to combat terrorism and we will continue the collaboration,” he said.
Buhari said 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.
President Buhari said Nigeria would help strengthen the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) and the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF), adding; “We will also help you to ensure a smooth transition in 18 months, as you have promised your people.”
On his part, Lt. Gen. 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 President Buhari: “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,” he said.