President Muhammadu Buhari has called on the international community to support Chad to conclude the transition from military to democratic government in a peaceful manner within the set time of 18 months.
President Buhari spoke at the opening of the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) convened to discuss the recent developments in Chad after President Idris Deby Itno died on the frontline while defending the territorial integrity of his country.
The Nigerian leader, who declared the one-day summit open in his capacity as the Chair of leaders of LCBC member-countries, rallied development partners and countries particularly France, the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, and Russia; the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union, as well as other friendly and partner nations to support the transition framework put in place by Chad’s Transition Military Council led by General Mahamat Idris Deby.
According to him it must be stated that the sanctity of the Chadian constitution as the supreme guiding document defining the social contract in the country must be respected.
He said the transition period should be civilian-led, with requisite powers given to the constitutionally mandated organs of government saddled with the responsibility of administering the country.
At the meeting attended by the Presidents of Central African Republic, Niger, Chad, Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and a representative of the President of Cameroon, President Buhari said the death of President Deby Itno had direct implications for the continued peace and stability of Chad as a nation, the Lake Chad region and the wider Sahel Region.
He Noted that the west African region is faced with difficult, several challenges that needs the support and engagement of all to overcome.
President Buhari maintained that the threats by the Chadian rebel groups, who are clamouring to overthrow the government, must be viewed with all the seriousness they deserve because the consequences of a destabilized Chad to the sub-region cannot be imagined.
President Buhari also used the occasion to commend the untiring efforts of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, the Multinational Joint Task Force, member countries’ National Armed Forces and Security and Intelligence Agencies ‘‘who daily strive to ensure the complete restoration of peace and stability in the region.
He pledged that officers, some of whom have paid the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty for the survival of the region, will never be forgotten
On the request of President Buhari and in recognition of the immense and sterling contributions of the late President of Chad to peace and stability in the region, the Summit observed a minute silence for the departed leader.
Eulogising the Marshal of Chad, President Buhari described the late President as a committed African leader and statesman who stood for peace and stability of the Lake Chad Region, the Sahel and the African continent in general.
He added that his passion, commitment and zeal to the cause of the Lake Chad and African unity would be greatly missed.