President Muhammadu Buhari says instability in State of Libya is a recurring threat to the Sahel and Sub-Saharan Africa, and expressed concern over the growing effect of the crisis on many lives.
The president stated this at a bilateral meeting with the President of Cote d’Ivoire, Dr Alhassan Quattara, on the margins of the 56th Ordinary session of the Economic Community of West Africa States.
The 56th Ordinary session of ECOWAS was held at the State House Conference Centre.
A statement by the President’s spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, quoted President Buhari to have said that the crisis in Libya had perpetuated instability in the West Coast, with many of the trained fighters in the country now surviving on violent crimes and terrorism.
The President said the Libyan fighters, who were trained for the 43 years Muammar Gaddafi ruled the country, were armed with deadly weapons and had been roaming the Sahel and sub-Sahara sub-region, with no other skills for survival ‘‘but to shoot and kill’’.
He expressed happiness that neighbouring countries were supporting Nigeria in tackling the menace of the fighters who had teamed up with Boko Haram.
President Buhari, however, stressed the need to do more by the West African countries, both under the ECOWAS platform and at bilateral levels.
In his remarks, President Quattara said he came to brief the Nigerian leader on progress of the ECOWAS mandate given to him to negotiate exit of Francophone West African countries from their currency union with France and European Union.
The Ivorian President said he was pleased to report that he received the full support of the French government, under President Emmanuel Macron, and that the West African States were free to leave the union and join the ‘‘Eco’’, the new currency designated for the West Coast.