President Muhammadu Buhari has re-enforced the federal government’s decision to relocate the command headquarters of the counter insurgency operations to Maiduguri. The President stated this on his first official visit as President to the Republic of Niger.
President Buhari while delivering his speech on his inauguration said the move is meant to bring the command base of the military closer to the front line of the war against terrorist in the North eastern part of the country until the insurgents are completely wiped out of the territory.
The President was received by his Nigerien counterpart, Mahamadou Issoufou in Niamey.
He said that his visit to Niger was to seek more support from the country in bringing a quick end to the atrocities of Boko Haram, noting that he would hold similar meetings on security and the war against terrorism with the Chadian authorities
President Buhari thanked Niger for the support through the accommodation of refugees who fled from the attacks of Boko Haram.
“We are aware that currently, there are over one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) displaced persons comprising refugees and returnees taking refuge in various parts of Niger…We therefore seek closer collaboration with our neighbouring countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroun, Boko Haram insurgency will soon be defeated.”
The President mentioned the challenge of proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons in the sub-region as one issue that needs urgent attention. He tasked Niger to do more in dealing with the menace of illegal migration and human trafficking.
“Niger as a major transit point, has had to commit huge resources to curb the trend. Nigeria would support the new initiatives by the European Union (EU) and other stakeholders aimed at combating the menace.”
The visit which is coming five days after being sworn in as President is critical in insuring the success of the war against insurgents as Niger and other neighbouring countries form key partners in waging the war.
In his remarks, the President Issoufou expressed confidence that the decision to move the military command of Nigeria to the North East would bring the war against terrorism to an end soon
A statement from the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu indicates thst President will move to Chad after leaving Niamey on Thursday