Following the reopening of the border, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said only God can effectively supervise Nigeria’s border with Niger Republic at this period in time.
The president painted the seemingly hopeless situation in the State House while hosting former Vice-President Namadi Sambo, who chairs ECOWAS Election Mission to Niger Republic.
A statement by the president’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president applauded Nigerien President Mahamadou Issoufou, for not attempting to tamper with his country’s constitution to elongate his stay in power after serving for a maximum two terms.
Explaining why the border is difficult to police, the president disclosed that the border is large, spanning 1,400 kilometres in size adding that efforts should be made to stabilise the Sahel region in Nigeria’s interest.
“I come from Daura, few kilometers to 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 kilometers 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,” Buhari said.
The statement added that Nigeria would give a robust support to Republic of Niger, at its presidential and National Assembly elections later this month.
It also said Sambo congratulated Buhari on the successful return of abducted students of Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, in Katsina State, as well as his 78th birthday, last week.
According to Adesina, Sambo pledged that ECOWAS would ensure peaceful and fair elections in Republic of Niger, despite current political, legal and security issues, adding that meetings were already being held with relevant stakeholders.