The death of President Idriss Deby may worsen the security situation in Chad and neighbouring countries like Nigeria, the federal government said on Thursday.

The defence minister, Bashir Magashi, said this while addressing journalists at the State House in Abuja.

PREMIUM TIMES reported Mr Deby’s death and the takeover of the government by the military which dissolved the parliament and suspended the constitution.

Mr Deby was a key ally in Nigeria’s decade-long fight against Boko Haram.

To prevent the escalation of the insecurity, Nigeria will increase security deployment at its borders, particularly the one with Chad, Mr Magashi, a retired major-general, said.

According to him, “If there’s no security in Chad there will be a lot of trouble for all neighboring countries. But thankfully we have a lot of ongoing military cooperation, through the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF), which we expect to continue. We remain mindful of our borders and developments in Chad.

“When we heard of this unfortunate killing of the Chadian President, we knew that problem is bound to be replicated among neigbouring countries and Nigeria will be most hit by his absence. If there is insecurity in Chad, there will be a lot of problems. But thank God, we have a lot of military activities with the Chadian, Niger, Cameroon, we have all that military concern. So, in the name of that Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF), all these countries, including Chad, are contributing countries for the operation. What we hope that very soon, we will find a secure way of the continuation of the activities we’re supposed to be doing. The problem is now going to be aggravated. Because we are not sure the direction in which that country is going to face. But I assure you that we are mindful of our borders, we are mindful of the development, and politically, the government is putting its head together to see how best they can restore the peace in that country.

“So security wise, we’re beefing up all borders to ensure that refugees did not flow into a country. Even Nigerians there, I’m sure some of them would like to come back. We have to make ready. Let’s prepare for them and not allow them to come in and use others to come because of the problems that they will create.

“The issue of weapons and armament. We are also afraid that. Before now, Chad has been the one stopping most of these infiltration of weapons and the rest of it. Now, that is free for all right from Libya down to Nigeria. It’s very easy now because the absence of the influence of Chad in that route. So we also have to take care of that. I think we are on top of the situation. All we are praying is that African countries will find a solution to the problem of Chad and get in a more corrective society as respected by international organisations.”

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