Buhari can no longer escape to Niger due to border closure – Tinubu

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President Bola Tinubu said former President Muhammadu Buhari can no longer escape to the Niger Republic, as he had earlier promised.


Tinubu stated this at the unveiling of two books titled ‘Working with Buhari (2015–2023)’ and ‘Muhammadu Buhari: The Nigerian Legacy—2015–2023 (Vols. 1–5)’ in Abuja on Tuesday.

Recall that Buhari had said he would leave for the Niger Republic after his official handover as president if he was not able to get enough rest in Daura, his home town in Katsina State. But President Tinubu said Buhari would not be able to relocate to Niger due to border closures.


Tinubu said, “When President Buhari was leaving office, he said he would retire to Daura, far away from Abuja, to enjoy his well-deserved retirement from public service.

“I remember him adding that if his supporters and friends denied him enough rest in Daura, he would run to the Republic of Niger. Well, as you all know, he can no longer escape to the Niger Republic because of the border closure.

“I am therefore extremely happy to receive him here in Abuja. We are all here today to honour a great man, a patriot, and a dedicated public servant who has offered his best in the service of our country since he joined the army in 1962 at age 18.”

Following the July 26, 2023, coup in Niger, Nigeria imposed sanctions, including border closure, on the military junta in the neighbouring country as a measure for the restoration of democracy, but the regime failed to yield to pressure.

Tinubu thanked the author of the book, Femi Adesina, who served him as the Special Adviser on Media & Publicity from 2015 to 2023.

He noted that the memoir gave an insight into what transpired in the eight years of Buhari, promising to finish off some of the things started by Buhari.

He said, “I particularly thank Femi for using his memoirs to let us into the challenging eight years of the administration and how his principal steered the ship of state.

“President Buhari assumed office at a very difficult period of our national life when the economy was spiralling into recession and Boko Haram had taken over swaths of our territory in the North East.

“At a point, it appeared even in Abuja that the seat of government would fall into the hands of Boko Haram with the bombing of the UN Building, Banex Plaza, Nyanya and other locations within the Federal Capital Territory.

“We cannot easily forget how our armed forces battled the Boko Haram terrorists under the leadership of President Buhari to reclaim our territory and push them to the fringes of Lake Chad, where they no longer pose an existential threat to our sovereignty.

“Whatever unresolved challenges are faced by President Buhari in his eight years, our administration will endeavour to resolve them. As I said during the campaigns, I inherited all his assets and liabilities.

“Our administration will continue to work from where President Buhari stopped to make our country better, create a vibrant economy, and secure the environment to bring more prosperity to our people.

“I must say the job of securing every inch of our country is yet to be finished. My government will stamp out the remaining vestiges of Boko Haram, Ansaru, banditry, and kidnapping gangs. We won’t rest until every agent of darkness is completely rooted out.”