By Bolaji Ogundele, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has urged West African countries, especially those within the Sahel region, to pool their resources together to fight the security crisis facing the region.
The President spoke on Tuesday at the State House in Abuja while hosting the new Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), Mr. Mahamat Saleh Annadif, a Chadian.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said President Buhari also tasked the UN envoy to bring the countries together.
“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,” he said.
Describing the region’s challenges as “enormous,” President Buhari noted that Boko Haram has placed heavy burdens in areas of lives and resources in Nigeria and some neighbouring countries, while Mali also has a large part 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,” he said.
President Buhari pledged Nigeria’s assistance to the Special Representative to enable him succeed in his assignment.
Annadif said he was visiting after his appointment because he recognised the crucial role of Nigeria in West Africa.