Chad’s Idriss Deby was a friend of Nigeria — Buhari

Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over the death of Chad’s President Idriss Deby.

Déby, who had ruled Chad for 30 years, was re-elected for a sixth term with 79.32 per cent of the vote, according to official results released Monday.

The military said on Tuesday that he got injured during clashes with rebels and died in a hospital.

Reacting to the incident, Buhari tweeted: “I’m deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden death of Idriss Deby on the battle front 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.”

Buhari 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, Buhari called for greater collaboration to defeat Boko Haram.

Deby was in the habit of leading his troops to battle. In April 2020, he sensationally led in the destruction of five bases of Boko Haram after the insurgents killed 98 Chadian soldiers.