By Tobi Soniyi
The Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), has identified continuity in governance and political stability in the West African sub-region as important elements in the fight against Boko Haram and insurgency.
A statement issued in Abuja yesterday by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Vice-President, Laolu Akande, said Osinbajo spoke at the weekend in Niamey, Niger Republic at the inauguration of President Issoufou Mahamadou for a second term in office as the president of Nigeria.
The vice-president said the re-election of the Nigerien leader was significant for the sub-regional coalition against insurgents.
He said Niger remained a good neighbour of Nigeria and an important partner, and also in the war against terrorism
Osinbajo noted that Mahamadou’s investiture “has great significance because first Nigeria understands President Issoufou well. He is an old hand and Nigeria has worked well with him as a partner. So, his re-election brings continuity and is good for the fight against Boko Haram and the insurgency in general.”
The Vice-president who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the ceremony, said Nigeria held the Nigerien President in high esteem, adding that “he is an old friend of President Buhari who is abroad attending the nuclear security summit in Washington, USA which is why he could not attend this event.”
He stated that the Nigerien President’s inauguration was also an opportunity to honour a strong ally and “to reinforce all our important diplomatic and military ties.”
In his inauguration address after he was sworn-in at the ceremony, Mahamadou noted that current worries regarding insecurity was global, transcending boundaries.
He restated Niger’s renewed commitment to join forces with Nigeria and other neighbours to fight insurgency at the sub-regional level.
The Nigerien president explained that defeating Boko Haram has several benefits particularly for economic integration in the region stating that it ‘ will facilitate trade between Niger and Nigeria’.
About 52 countries witnessed the ceremony including nine West African presidents.
There were also several Nigerian dignitaries at the occasion including the APC National leader, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and several governors especially from the northern states.