June 15, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari has called on West African countries and those in the Sahel currently rocked by security challenges to team up to tame the menace of insecurity in the region.
The President spoke Tuesday at the State House, Abuja, while receiving the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mahamat Saleh Annadif.
Buhari in a statement issued by Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, told Special Representative Annadif that: “You are our neighbour. You have vast experience on matters affecting the Sahel, having served for five years in Mali. I hope you will get the countries to work together to confront the issues affecting them.”
Describing the problems as “enormous,” Buhari noted that Boko Haram had exacted a heavy toll on lives and resources in Nigeria and some neighbouring countries, while Mali equally had a large swathe of the country occupied by militants.
“I hope under the auspices of UNOWAS, you will help get the problems sorted out. Most of them have to do with the instability in Libya, and it affects all of us,” the President added.
Buhari pledged the assistance of Nigeria to the Special Representative, so that he could succeed in his assignment.
Annadif (a Chadian) said he was visiting shortly after his appointment, because he recognised the crucial role of Nigeria in West Africa.
He said he was quite familiar with the problems of the Sahel region, and would depend on the help of Nigeria to succeed.