President Muhammadu Buhari Monday assured the newly inaugurated President of Republic of Niger, Mr Mohammed Bazoum, who was in Nigeria on his first international visit, that the region would be stabilised for the benefit of the two countries.
The president said Nigerians and Nigeriens are people with similar culture, language and ways of life, “and we also share about 1,500 kilometres of land border, so we cannot ignore each other.”
He congratulated Bazoum on winning the recent presidential election, and his successful inauguration into office.
“You have been in the system for a long time. The only thing is that you had never been President. Now you are one,” the host President said, assuring that Nigeria would assist its close neighbour in diverse ways as required.
On terrorism, as perpetrated by Boko Haram, President Buhari observed that Republic of Niger also suffers high casualties, vowing; “We will do all it takes to secure our two countries.”
The president also thanked the immediate ex-president of Niger, Mr Mahamadou Issoufou, for “his understanding and sacrifices” to help stabilize the region, urging the successor to maintain the institutions his predecessor had established.
Also speaking, President Mohammed Bazoum said he was delighted to make Nigeria his first port of call, stressing that the two countries have common interests, “and, therefore, a good relationship is very important.”
On security, he said the fact that some Nigerians flee to Niger during terrorist attacks “shows that we need to cooperate, and we will face our challenges together.”