The Federal Government has expressed concern over the present situation in the Republic of Chad, following the passing of President Idriss Deby.
Magashi, who said he understood Nigeria would be most struck by the passing of Deby, voiced the commitment of the Federal Government to control the influx of refugees and weapons.
He said the absence of Deby’s influence on the boundaries which might worsen the safety situation in Nigeria and other neighbouring states underscored the need to beef up security around boundaries, particularly with the Republic of Chad in view of the continuing unrest in the country.
According to him, “If there is no safety in Chad, there’ll be a good deal of trouble for many neighbouring countries. We remain mindful of our boundaries and improvements from Chad.”
Magashi said: “When we heard of this unfortunate killing of the Chadian President, we knew that problem is guaranteed to be replicated one of neighbouring countries and Nigeria will be hit by his absence. When there’s insecurity in Chad, then there will be a lot of issues. But thank God, we’ve got a lot of military actions with the Chadian, Niger, Cameroon, we have all that military concern. Thus, in the title of that Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF), all these countries, such as Chad, are leading nations for the operation. That which we expect that very soon, we’ll find a secure means of the continuation of the activities we are supposed to do. The problem is now going to be more aggravated. Since we are not certain the direction in which that country will face. But I assure you that we’re aware of our boundaries, we are mindful of the development, and politically, the government is putting its head together to see how best they could restore the peace in that country.
“So, safety-wise, we’re beefing up all boundaries to make sure that refugees didn’t flow into a country. Even Nigerians there I’m sure some of them would like to come back. We need to make prepared. Let’s prepare for them and not allow them to come in and utilize others to come due to the issues they will create.
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The matter of weapons and armament. We’re also afraid of that. Before today, Chad has been the one stopping most of this infiltration of weapons and the rest of it. Now, that’s free for all right from Libya down to Nigeria. It is very easy today since the lack of the influence of Chad in that path. So, we also have to take care of that. I believe we are at the top of this situation. All we’re mentioning is that African countries will discover a remedy to the problem of both Chad and get into a more corrective society as respected by international organisations”
Magashi, who described the current attacks on police creation at the southeast as an affront on Nigeria’s security structure, cautioned that such would no longer be tolerated.
He said the natives of 12 soldiers in Benue State will be brought to publication, saying that: “Whoever sees that the army has no regard for this nation.”
The defence minister said nine of 12 weapons belonging to the murdered soldiers were recovered and that arrests were being made.
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