President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said the demise of ex-Chadian President Idriss Deby “will surely create a big vacuum in the efforts to jointly confront the Boko Haram terrorists and the Islamic State West Africa Province.”
The President made the comment in a statement signed by his spokesman Garba Shehu.
Deby died of injuries while fighting rebels in the north of the Sahel country, according to the Chadian army earlier on Tuesday.
The shocking announcement came only the day after the 68-year-old was proclaimed the winner of a presidential election that had given him a sixth term in office.
The Chadian army said Deby had been commanding his army at the weekend as it battled against rebels who had launched a major incursion into the north of the country on election day.
Reacting to the incident on Tuesday, President Buhari said he was “deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden death of Idriss Deby on the battlefront to defend the sovereignty of his country.”
According to the President, “the late Deby had played a very active role in our regional joint collaboration in the military campaign against the Boko Haram terrorists.”
He further described the late Chadian leader “as a friend of Nigeria who had enthusiastically lent his hand in our efforts to defeat the murderous Boko Haram terrorists that have posed grave security challenges not only for Nigeria, but also our African neighbours, particularly Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic.”
He added that “the death of Deby will surely create a big vacuum in the efforts to jointly confront the Boko Haram terrorists and the Islamic State West Africa Province.”
While condoling with the people of Chad and their new leader, President Buhari called for greater collaboration to defeat the terrorists.
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