Railway to Niger: I have first cousins in Niger – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has explained the decision of his government to construct railway to Niger Republic.


The President stated this Thursday in an Exclusive Interview on ‘Good Morning Show’ on ARISE TV, a broadcast arm of THISDAY.

He said he had first cousins in Niger, while also adding that Fulani, Hausa and Kanuri are in the neighbouring country and cannot be cut off.

Railway to Niger: I have first cousins in Niger - Buhari
Railway to Niger: I have first cousins in Niger – Buhari

The President further explained that the railway being constructed would also boost the friendly relationship with Niger which had helped Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.



He stated: “If you recall, when I came, I went to Chad, I went to Niger, I went to Cameroon. Look at what happened with Boko Haram. If we were not in a good relationship with Niger, Chad and Cameroon, Boko Haram would have done worse things to us and you say I am going to Niger.


“I told you the border between us and Niger is 1, 500km. I spoke to one French man and I had to tell him this. He spoke nonsense and I told him look, in 1885, you sat down and drew lines (boundaries). I said I have first cousins in Niger. There are Kanuris, there are Hausas, there are Fulanis in Niger Republic just as there are Yorubas in Benin. You can’t absolutely cut them off.”

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Buhari stressed that Niger, which is a landlocked nation, had discovered oil, and Nigeria did not want them to do trade through Benin Republic.



According to him, “We want them to come through Nigeria. We want them to send their exports through Nigeria.”


Th President was also of the opinion that the new rail would help Nigeria to compete with Benin Republic.

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