From Victor Osula, Abuja
President Buhari and former VP Nnamadi Sambo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday
After months of anxiety and concern by Nigerians over the government’s unexplained deference to Niger Republic, President Muhammadu Buhari has come out with some explanations.
Niger shares a length of more than 1,400 kilometres of border with Nigeria, which he said should make Nigeria pay serious attention to any development going on with its borders, especially its stability.
Speaking on Monday at the State House, Abuja, while receiving a report on the elections in the neighbouring country from former Vice President, Namadi Sambo, who is ECOWAS Head of Mission on the election in Republic of Niger, Buhari said because Niger shares a length of more than 1,400 kilometres of border with Nigeria, the country should pay serious attention to any development going on with its borders, especially its stability.
According to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, the President said “Nigeria shares more than 1,400 kilometres of border with Republic of Niger, and we should be concerned about the stability of that country.
“We are concerned about their stability, and I am glad the elections went well. I am happy it was transparent, as attested to by most of the observers,” President Buhari said.
He congratulated Architect Sambo and his team for a job well done, stating; “I am glad you came back with good news.”
The ECOWAS Head of Mission on the election said he met with all the stakeholders before the polls, which went into run-off after the initial exercise in December last year was inconclusive, “and we observed about 400 polling units in five regions of the country, and the process was peaceful, done professionally. Every citizen was given the right to vote and be voted for.”
The candidate of the ruling party was announced by the electoral body as having won more than 50 per cent of the votes, a decision disputed by the opposition candidate, who has now approached the constitutional court for redress. It is the court which has powers to declare a winner in an election, according to the Constitution of Republic of Niger.
Former Vice President Sambo described the election as “a great improvement on that of December 27 last year,” and thanked President Buhari for facilitating the transportation needs of his team.