President Muhammadu Buhari has warned foreign countries against meddling in Nigeria’s internal affairs.
He gave the warning on Thursday 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.
Femi Adesina, his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, via a statement from the President charged the new foreign diplomats to limit their activities and concerns to their callings and the reasons for being sent to Nigeria.
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 the general elections itself.
“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.”
The President also told the envoys that Nigeria was working with the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) to deal with insecurity in the West African region as well as implementing strategies to contain the spate of unconstitutional changes in government within the region.
President Buhari called for cooperation and collaboration, invited friendly countries to “support efforts to address the problem of insecurity, fight against corruption, diversification of the economy” in West Africa.
He told the ambassadors that Nigeria 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.
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The President said: “I am therefore confident that your appointments are obviously deliberate to build on the successes of your immediate predecessors in order to advance our relations to significant and enviable heights.
“As you settle down to your diplomatic responsibilities, I am hopeful that you will appreciate the political, socio-economic 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.”
He further 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.
Buhari reiterated that factors that accounted for these challenges go beyond the abilities of any single country to effectively contain.
He emphasized that matters of security have become the business of all nations of the world to work together at both bilateral and multilateral platforms and build consensus in order to overcome these challenges.
The envoys who presented their Letters of Credence are: Nicolas Lang (Switzerland), Annika Hahn Englund (Sweden), Peter Ryan (Ireland), Kitiisak Klomchit (Thailand), Nicolas Nyouky (Senegal) and David Chaot (South Sudan).