President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed sadness over “the sudden and tragic death of President Idriss Deby of Chad on the front line, fighting against rebel soldiers.”
The Nigerian leader was, however, silent on the constitutional violation, which saw the Chadian army take over the government and jettison a constitutional transition.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the army said it was suspending the constitution, dissolving the parliament and imposing a military council, following the death Tuesday of Mr Deby, who had ruled Chad for over 30 years.
The military council will be led by Mr Deby’s 37-year-old son, Mahamat Kaka, who is an army general.
Based on the Chadian constitution, the speaker of the parliament should assume power for an interim period of 40 days following the death of a sitting president.
Mr Deby died from injuries sustained during the army’s fight against rebels, the army said on Tuesday.
Reacting to the incident on Tuesday, President Buhari said: “I’m deeply shocked and devastated by the sudden death of Idriss Deby on the battle front to defend the sovereignty of his country.”
Mr Buhari’s reaction was contained in a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
According to the Nigerian president, “the late Deby had played a very active role in our regional joint collaboration in the military campaign against the Boko Haram terrorists.”
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President 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, President Buhari called for greater collaboration to defeat the terrorists.