President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday said that it is in the interest of Nigeria to do all within her powers to ensure stability in the Sahel region. To this extent, the President had given the assurance that Nigeria would give robust support to the Republic of Niger, which holds presidential and national assembly elections later this month.
Buhari in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said he knew a little about the neighbouring Niger Republic because he hails from Daura, Katsina State, a few kilometres to that country.
Receiving in audience the former Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, who headed the ECOWAS Election Mission to the West African country at the Presidential Villa yesterday, Buhari lauded President Mahamadou Issoufou, for not attempting to tamper with the constitution of hiscountry and elongatehis stay in power after serving for the maximum two terms. “I come from Daura, a few kilometres from the Republic of Niger, so I should know a bit about that country. The President is quite decent, and we are regularly in touch. He is sticking to the maximum term prescribed by the constitution of his country.
“Also, we share more than 1,400 kilometres of border with that country, which can only be effectively supervised by God. I will speak with the President, and offer his country our support. We need to do all we can to help stabilise the Sahel region, which is also in our own interest.” Sambo in his comments congratulated Buhari on the successful return of abducted schoolboys from Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, Katsina State, and also his 78th birthday, last week. He pledged that ECOWAS would ensure peaceful and fair elections in the Republic of Niger despite the current political, legal and security issues, adding that meetings were already being held with the relevant stakeholders.