Niger-Nigeria Border Too Large for Effective Policing, Says Buhari

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Muhammadu Buhari

By Omololu Ogunmade

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday described the Nigeria’s border with Niger Republic, as too large for effective policing.

The president, while hosting former Vice President Namadi Sambo, who chairs ECOWAS Election Mission to Niger Republic, said only God could effectively supervise the border between the two countries.

A statement by the president’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the president applauded the 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 stated that the border is large, spanning 1, 400 kilometres in size.

He also called for efforts 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 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,” Buhari said.

The statement added that Nigeria will support the Republic of Niger at its presidential and National Assembly elections later this month.

The statement also quoted Sambo as congratulating Buhari on the successful return of abducted schoolboys from the Government Science Secondary School, Kankara, in Katsina State, as well as his 78th birthday, last week.

Sambo pledged that ECOWAS would ensure peaceful and fair elections in the Republic of Niger despite current political, legal and security issues.

He said meetings were being held with stakeholders to guarantee peaceful polls.