President Muhammadu Buhari has dispatched the Minister of Defence, retired Brig-Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali, to Chad for an emergency meeting with the Chadian President, Idris Deby, on the deterioration of security at the Nigeria – Chad border.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dan-Ali had on Thursday briefed President Buhari on security development across the country.
He also briefed him about the recent killings of some Nigerian soldiers by the Islamic West Africa Province, a breakaway Boko Haram sect, operating along Nigeria – Chad border.
AFP had quoted security sources on Nov. 21, saying no less than 44 soldiers were killed during the attacks, which occurred at Metele, a remote village bordering Nigeria and Chad.
Diplomatic sources, however, told NAN that the Minister of Defence would also be meeting his Chadian counterpart during his mission to Chad, to identify what had led to the recent increase in Boko Haram terrorism in the area.
The sources, who preferred not to be named, said: “Nigeria has a Chad problem in the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) put together to secure the Lake Chad Basin area and repeal the Boko Haram terrorism attacks against all the countries neighbouring the lake.’’
According to the sources, Chad is believed to have its own internal security challenges and this has reportedly led to their pulling away their troops manning their own border around Lake Chad.
“That lacuna is being exploited by the Boko Haram terrorists, who go in and out of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon to launch terrorist acts.
“This is a clear illustration of the fact that terrorism is beyond national borders,” the sources added.
When contacted, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said he was aware that the Defence Minister would be going to Chad, but said: “I’m unaware of his mission there.’’ (NAN).