President Muhammadu Buhari has warned foreign governments and their representatives not to meddle in the country’s forthcoming elections.
The warning is coming barely 45 days to the February 25 presidential election.
Buhari, who made the appeal on Thursday, while receiving Letters of Credence from Ambassadors of Switzerland, Sweden, the Republic of Ireland, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of South Sudan at Presidential Villa, Abuja, said the country is working with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to end coups.
A statement by the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted the president to have said that Nigeria was 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.
“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,” Buhari stated.
President Buhari 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 enjoyed 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.
He added, “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 a bid to explore areas of mutual benefit to your respective countries and Nigeria.
“Sectors such as Healthcare, Education, Infrastructure, Local Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Agribusiness, Transportation, and 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.”
While 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 said the factors accounting for these challenges go beyond the abilities of any single country to effectively contain them.
He said that issues of security had become a global matter which, according to him had presented an opportunity for all nations of the world to work together at both bilateral and multilateral platforms and build consensus in order to overcome them.
Responding on behalf of his colleagues, the Ambassador of Switzerland assured the Nigerian President that they will exercise “their functions as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary with dedication, to the best of their knowledge and belief, and for the mutual benefit of our countries.”
Wishing Nigeria peaceful, free and fair elections, the Ambassadors extended their goodwill to the president on his remaining days in office.