President Muhammadu Buhari has cautioned foreign envoys in the country not to be deceived by events that would lead to the conduct of 2023 general elections saying the nation’s political atmosphere is peculiar.
The President, while urging the diplomats to be guided by diplomatic practices to ensure that their activities remain within the limits of their profession, noted that the momentum for enhanced political activities is expected to commence soon ahead of 2023 elections.
Buhari said this Monday while receiving Letters of Credence at State House from the Ambassadors of Japan, European Union, Burundi, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Cape Verde, France, Qatar; and High Commissioners of Sierra Leone and Ghana.
According to a release by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, Buhari told the diplomats that they were resuming in the country at an interesting time.
“Nigeria’s national elections are due in early 2023. The momentum for enhanced political activities is therefore expected to commence soon.
“The nature of our politicking often gives the impression of very rancorous engagements. It is the nature of politics here. Besides, democracy and related democratic activities in the build-up to elections are necessarily rowdy and very argumentative, but very much within the limits of freedom of action that the art of democracy permits.
“As you settle down in the face of these developments, it is my hope that you will also be guided by diplomatic practices, to ensure that your activities remain within the limits of your profession,” Buhari said.
While telling the newly accredited diplomats that he looked forward to a more robust relationship with each of their countries, Buhari declared that Nigeria was open to more foreign direct investments in the education, health, transportation and agricultural sectors, and would welcome improved bilateral relations, especially in wider trading and cultural contacts.
On security, President Buhari told the ambassadors that more partnerships were needed to fully overcome daunting challenges in the country.
According to him, different factors were responsible for the daunting security challenges in the country which include terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, cybercrimes, and maritime issues.
He insisted that the maritime issues are beyond any single country to fight, making it the business of all the nations of the world to work together to overcome.
Buhari also identified the nation’s porous borders with challenging their effective policing; easy circulation of small arms and light weapons, from the Sahel-Libya axis and the Central African region as other factors causing insecurity in Nigeria.
Despite the huge challenges, the President said concerted efforts by the government and the Armed Forces have accounted for the largely degraded capacities of terrorists across the country.
Those Ambassadors newly accredited were Matsunaga Kazuyoshi (Japan), Leena Pylvanainen (Finland), Samuela Isopi (European Union), Maria Jeanne Ntakirutimana (Burundi) Monsieur Sune Krogstrup (Denmark), Sile Maguire (Ireland), Belarmino Silva (Cape Verde), Ali Ghanem Ali Alfahed Alhajri (Qatar) and Emmanuella Blatmann (France).
The High Commissioners are Sydney Dowu Davies (Sierra Leone) and Alhaji Rashid Bawa (Ghana).