Onyeama expresses sadness over death of Idriss Deby

By Chimezie Godfrey

Federal government has expressed shock and sadness over demise of Chadian President, Idriss Itno died in a frontline battle with rebels.

In a statement signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, federal government expressed concern over developments in Chad.

Onyeama also called for caution among two armed groups and interim leadership of Chad not to allow situation in the country deteriorate further. 

He said,”The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, shock and sadness the passing away of His Excellency, the Marshall of Chad, Idriss Deby Itno, died as a result of injuries suffered in frontline battle with rebels, earlier today (April 20, 2021).

“Nigeria great concerns over evolving developments in Chad. 

“The interim leadershipof Chad and all stakeholders, at and abroad, the two armed groups still fighting must not allow the evolving developments in Chad to feed into more chaos with its attendantconsequences. 

“Nigeria calls for urgent consideration of dialogue among all the stakeholders, which Nigeria is willing to guide and mainstream, within the framework of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and ultimately, the African Union (). 

“An early return to democratic governance in Chad should  the ultimate goal but the immediate objective is the stabilisation of Chad as well as the regions of ECCAS, ECOWAS and the Sahel.”

Onyeama pointed out that the influence and relevance of Idriss Deby Itno lay in his capacity to make Chad act as a buffer between North Africa, the Sahel, East and West Africa and, in particular, containing the negative extreme tendencies that are domiciled in these regions. 

According to him, in the Lake Chad region, the late President Itno and Chad remained the strongest allies of Nigeria in the Multinational Joint Taskforce, the Lake Chad Basin Commission and in the fight against Boko Haram and insurgency. 

He said that the great leader of Chad will missed and glowingly remembered for his efforts to stabilise the subregions and maintain the peace and their socio-economic development. 

“His demise could lead to vacuums that could implode in these subregions, hence the need to appeal to all stakeholders in Chad to embrace dialogue to resolve their differences in the interest of peace and the sustainable development of Chad.

“Late President Idriss Deby Itno’s 31 years presidency of Chad have been momentous. Since the independence of the country in August 1960, this represented the longest administration which also stabilised Chad from 2008 until his demise. 

“Apart from gradually turning Chad into a modern State his life time, President Itno uplifted Chad’s diplomacy within ECCAS and

“Chad’s military capability has been rated as the best modern army in the region which successfully contained terrorism in the Sahel and armed groups against Chad for over three decades. 

“His death today(Tuesday) marks a tragic end to brilliant military and political careers of service to his country,” he stressed.

The Minister noted that President Idris Deby Itno demonstrated leadership and died in the defence of his country.

“This illustrious son of Chad and Africa will dearly missed. 

“May he rest in peace and may the Almighty comfort his family and the people of Chad,” Onyeama prayed.

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