From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for more collaboration to check terrorism, banditry and insurgency.
This is even as he has reiterated the call for diplomats to monitor political developments in the country, leading to the 2023 elections, but remain true to their professional ethics of non-interference.
The President, who commended the collective efforts of nations towards tackling security challenges across the globe, and within Nigeria, said this when he received Letters of Credence of Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador James Kingston Christoff and the Ambassador of Mexico to Nigeria, Juan Alfred Miranda Oritz.
According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari told the diplomats that successes in taming insecurity had been recorded through collaboration across borders, and more could be achieved.
“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.
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The President noted that at the regional level, 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.”
Speaking more on the 2023 elections, Buhari noted that Nigeria was drawing closer to its national elections and candidates representing their parties at different levels were beginning to build consensus within their respective parties in preparations to the launching of campaigns across the country soon.
“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 also advised the diplomats to focus on building on the successes of their predecessors.
“The task before you require 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 over time benefitted our people.
“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 noted.
The President said the cultural diversity of Nigeria “represents our pride as a nation and identity as a people,’’ while urging the diplomats to also build friendships and acquaintances in the course of their stay in the country.
In his remarks, on behalf of the ambassadors, the Canadian High Commissioner thanked the President for the ceremony of accepting 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,” Christoff said.