President Muhammadu Buhari has praised international cooperation in addressing global and domestic security issues, calling for increased cooperation to combat terrorism, banditry, and insurgency.
The president, who spoke on Tuesday in Abuja, also urged representatives of the diplomatic community to watch developments in Nigeria leading up to the next elections in 2023 without interfering.
The president informed the ambassadors that more might be done to reduce insecurity after receiving letters of credence from the high commissioners of Canada and Mexico to Nigeria, Ambassador James Kingston Christoff and Juan Alfred Miranda Oritz, respectively.
“The devastating effect of global insecurity, climate change and the post COVID-19 era has devastated global economies. Nations continue to struggle to recover from these multiple global challenges.
“The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has undermined the progress countries have achieved in tackling food security in the last decade, while, the political instability in Libya continues to fuel terrorism in the Sahel, as well as scuttle democratic sustenance in both West and Central African regions.
“Nigeria is not left out of the equation, as we are fighting to rid our country of banditry, kidnapping, herder/farmer crisis and insurgency. We are, however, making meaningful progress with the support of friendly countries like yours to sustain these fights until we overcome these challenges,’’ he said.
President Buhari claimed that, across the region, Nigeria had been “working with other member-states of ECOWAS and other regional blocs, to deal with the problems of terrorism, trans-border crimes, maritime crimes such as piracy and illegal fishing on our waters, illicit drug and human trafficking, banditry, as well as unconstitutional changes of government.
“I believe that matters of security have become the business of all nations as these challenges go beyond the abilities of any single country to effectively contain.
“The world must, therefore, work closely together and Nigeria counts on your support in cementing the relations between our countries at both bilateral and multilateral levels to surmount these global threats to civilization.”
President Buhari advised diplomats to keep an eye on political developments in the nation leading up to the 2023 general elections while adhering to their professional norms of non-interference.
In preparation for the impending kickoff of campaigns across the nation, he added, candidates representing their parties at various levels in Nigeria were starting to forge consensus among their respective parties as the country’s national elections drew nearer.
“As the drums of campaign begin to rise, 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 the general elections,” he said.
The President additionally counseled the diplomats to concentrate on building on the achievements of their forerunners.
“The task before you requires you both to build on the successes of your predecessors and further make efforts in the expansion and advancement of the cordial bilateral relations and cooperation between Nigeria and your respective countries.
“These relations, as you all know, span across political, socio-economic and cultural spheres that have overtime benefitted our peoples.
“I am confident that, in carrying out your diplomatic responsibilities in the course of your tour of duties, you will spare time to appreciate the uniqueness and strength in our country’s cultural diversities, in terms of both human and natural resources, as well as the flora and fauna across the country,” he said.
The President additionally counseled the diplomats to concentrate on building on the achievements of their forerunners. The diversity of Nigeria’s cultures, according to the president, “represents our pride as a nation and identity as a people,” encouraging the diplomats to form relationships and make contacts while they are in the nation.
The Canadian High Commissioner thanked the president on behalf of the ambassadors for conducting the ceremony to accept the Letters of Credence.
“Today marks formal beginning of our engagement with the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We will work closely with ministers and officials to start a progressive relationship,” he said.