Authorities Tighten Security As President Buhari Visits Cameroon Today

Authorities in Cameroon have tightened security in Yaounde ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit today.

The President is billed to begin a friendly and working visit to the country for talks with Cameroonian President Paul Biya as part of efforts to defeat the Boko Haram terrorists.

He had visited Niger and Chad shortly after his inauguration on May 29. The Cameroonian trip was shifted following the Muslims’ Ramadan fast and the President’s invitation to the G-7 Summit in Germany.

The Nation reporter, who is in Cameroon, observed increased security patrols in the capital yesterday.

Armed security personnel, who have been drafted to major spots in Yaoundé and other areas towards checking the onslaught of Boko Haram, have increased their surveillance.

Besides, private and public vehicles, including those with diplomatic number plates, were undergoing thorough checking.

Visitors were also being thoroughly screened at the airports.

Five suicide bombings, which took several lives, had been carried out by Boko Haram insurgents in the last two weeks.

Speaking to reporters in Yaoundé on Buhari’s visit, Nigeria’s High Commissioner in Cameroon, Ambassador Hadiza Mustapha said: “It is our tradition in Nigeria that when Presidents come into office, his first port of call should be African countries. His visit shows the highest level of cordiality.

“There is need to synergise with the frontline states bordering both countries to confront insurgency, in order to build on the gains so far achieved.

“Nigeria’s relations with Cameroon have a long history of economic and political ties anchored on affinities and shared destiny.

“It is a significant visit and we are looking forward to it. The President is going to spend a night, which shows you how much importance he attaches to it. I’m honoured to be receiving the second Nigerian President as an ambassador here.”

On the discussion of bilateral relations between the two countries, she said: “There are many issues at stake but the main discussion is up to the Presidents to define the scope and the content.

“I know that President Buhari is thankful for the help Cameroon has offered to our refugees, so I will not be surprised if such subjects come up.”

The President, who is due back in Abuja on Thursday, will undertake a one-day trip to Benin Republic on Saturday for talks with President Boni Yayi to round-off the diplomatic shuttle to neighbouring countries, initiated after assumption of office.

These are aimed at strengthening regional cooperation against terrorism and making it harder for Boko Haram to operate across national boundaries.
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