Friday, March 24, 2023

Nigeriens deface highway named after Buhari in Niamey; call Nigerian president ‘criminal’

This hostile behaviour is despite Mr Buhari’s efforts to strengthen relations with the Niger Republic, which have earned him criticism among Nigerians.

• December 5, 2022
Defaced Muhammadu Buhari highway
Defaced Muhammadu Buhari highwayPhoto Credit; Damagaram Post

A highway in the Niger Republic capital Niamey named after President Muhammadu Buhari has been defaced by Nigeriens less than a month after it was constructed.

The Nigerien nationals behind the destruction also described president Buhari as ‘a criminal’, with the Niger-based The Damagaram Post, which first broke the news, saying that the suspects have not been arrested in connection to the vandalism.

This hostile behaviour is despite the Nigerian president’s efforts to strengthen relations with Niger, which have earned him criticism at home.

In November 2022, the highway measuring 3.8 kilometres boulevard was commissioned in Niger Republic by President Mohammed Bazoun, with the road immediately named after Mr Buhari, in line with Niger Republic’s constitutional provision.

Mr Buhari had always expressed satisfaction with the existing bilateral relationship between Nigeria and its neighbouring country, most especially the Niger Republic. 

Under his administration, the Nigerian president built roads and railways to Niger, thereby, opening dialogue that would best assist the country on essential matters in the areas of security, tackling smuggling, and importation of illegal weapons. 

Also, billions were spent to support Nigerien forces with vehicles and other equipment to tackle crime and other forms of insecurity challenges. 

Recall that Mr Buhari was the first to name a Nigerian road in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) after the immediate past Niger President Issoufou Mahamadou. 

Mr Buhari, who was represented at the ceremony by FCT minister Mohammed Bello, said the expressway was named after Mr Mahamadou for his “significant role in the promotion of peace in Africa”.

“The road was named after the Nigerien President by President @MBuhari as a mark of deep appreciation for the maintenance of brotherly relationship between Nigeria & the Rep. of Niger & in recognition of the Nigerien President’s significant role in the promotion of peace in Africa,” the presidency tweeted in March 2021.

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