"Real Reason Niger, Chad and Cameroon Are Very Important to Me," President Buhari Opens Up
- President Muhammadu Buhari said he had built a personal and cordial relationship with some neighbouring countries
- The outgoing Nigerian leader stressed that should anyone disturb him, his Niger Republic neighbours would defend him
- President Buhari noted that he would relocate to his country home in Daura, Katsina state, which is far away from Abuja and closer to the Niger Republic
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FCT, Abuja - President Muhammadu Buhari has explained why the countries he first visited as Nigeria’s leader are neighbouring Niger Republic, Chad, and Cameroon.
Speaking on Tuesday, May 23, during the commissioning of the new corporate headquarters of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in Abuja, Buhari said neighbouring nations are very important, Vanguard reported.
Why countries must secure the confidence of their neighbours, Buhari
Speaking at the event, President Buhari said countries need to secure the confidence of their neighbours in order to have peace, The Sun added.
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The outgoing president also reiterated that in any case, he will always find solace in the Niger Republic, the Punch also reported.
“That is why when I became the President, my first visit was to Niger, Chad and Cameroon because, based on personal and national issues, the neighbourhood is very important.
“If you don’t secure the confidence and cooperation of your neighbours, you are in trouble, your children and grandchildren will be in trouble.”
“So it is very good that I established a relationship with my neighbours. I said these few things about my personal belief because I have only six more days to go. And I try to plan to be as far away from Abuja as possible.
‘’Thank goodness, I come from an area which is far away from Abuja. I said if anybody forces me, I have a good relationship with my neighbours, Niger people will defend me.”
Buhari’s romance with Niger Republic
In 2021, Buhari’s administration revealed its plan to construct a 284km rail line from Kano state to the Niger Republic. According to the then minister of transport, Rotimi Amaechi, the project will cost the country about $2 billion and will be funded by Nigeria through borrowing from external sources.
Also, Buhari gave a whopping N1.4 billion to Niger Republic to buy SUVs.
Niger paid back in November 2022 by naming a road after President Buhari.
Buhari makes fresh appointment
In related news, Legit.ng reported that President Buhari appointed Dr Steven Andzenge as the new Executive Director Niger Delta Power Holding Company (Nig.) Limited.
The development was disclosed by the Director of Information of the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF), Willie Bassey in a statement on Tuesday, May 23, in Abuja.
Buhari leaves office as president in five days.