Nigeria - With just few weeks to the commencement of the general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday reiterated his warning to foreign governments’ representatives not to meddle in the exercise.
He gave the admonition while receiving letters of credence from Ambassadors of Switzerland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of South Sudan, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said: ‘‘I urge you to be guided by diplomatic practice to ensure that your activities remain within the limits of your profession as you monitor the build-up to the elections and the conduct of thegeneralelectionsitself.
‘‘I wish you all success in your respective tours of duty and at the same time encourage you to take time to enjoy the unique nature and culture at your disposal as you travel across our country.”
Buhari noted that Nigeria is working closely with ECOWAS to deal with insecurity in the West African region as well as implementing strategies to contain the spate of unconstitutional changes in government.
While calling for the cooperation and collaboration from the countries to overcome challenges in West Africa, the president invited friendly countries to ‘‘support efforts to address the problem of insecurity, fight against corruption, diversification of the economy and our efforts in promoting good governance.’’
He told the ambassadors that Nigeria no doubt enjoys very cordial and mutually beneficial bilateral relations and cooperation with their respective countries, commending the roles of their predecessors who demonstrated diligence and commitment to advance these causes.
“As you settle down to your diplomatic responsibilities, I am hopeful that you will appreciate the political, socioeconomic and cultural diversities, which are the hallmarks of the Nigerian nation.
‘‘I encourage you to build friendships and take time to fraternise across the length and breadth of the country including interfacing with both the public and private sectors in bid to explore areas of mutual benefit to your respective countries and Nigeria.
‘‘Sectors such as healthcare, education, infrastructure, local manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, agribusiness, transportation, solid minerals are areas of particular interest to us and foreign investors alike. This will enable us to collectively strive to resuscitate all our countries’ economies in the post pandemic global recovery processes.’’
President Buhari also acknowledged the support of the respective countries in his administration’s campaign to deal with the challenges of insecurity such as kidnapping, banditry, terrorism, drugs and human trafficking, as well as the threats posed by environmental challenges resulting from climate change in the Lake Chad Region.
He reiterated that different factors that accounted for these challenges go beyond the abilities of any single country to effectively con- tain.
According to a statement issued by Femi Adesina, Spe- cial Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, the ambassadors who presented their letters of credence are: Nicolas Lang, (Switzerland), Annika Hahn Englund (Swe- den), Peter Ryan (Ireland), Kitiisak Klomchit (Thailand), Nicolas Nyouky (Senegal) and David Chaot of South Sudan.
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, the Ambassador of Switzerland, Nicolas Lang, assured Buhari that they would exercise ‘‘their func- tions as ambassadors extra- ordinary and plenipotentiary with dedication, to the best of their knowledge and be- lief, and for the mutual ben- efit of our countries.’’
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