In Abuja on Tuesday, President Muhammadu Buhari praised international cooperation in addressing global and domestic security issues, calling for increased collaboration to combat terrorism, banditry, and insurgency.
President Buhari informed the diplomats after accepting the letters of credence from the ambassadors of Mexico and Canada, Juan Alfred Miranda Oritz and James Kingston Christoff, that progress had been made in reducing insecurity through cross-border collaboration and that more could be done.
“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.
At the regional level, according to President Buhari, Nigeria has been collaborating with other ECOWAS members and other regional groups to combat issues like terrorism, transnational crime, maritime crimes like piracy and illegal fishing in our waters, illegal 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,’’ he added.
Prior to the elections in 2023, the President asked diplomats to keep an eye on political developments in the nation while upholding their commitment to the non-interference rule of their profession.
President Buhari stated that as Nigeria’s national elections drew nearer, candidates representing their parties at various levels started to forge agreement within those organisations in anticipation of the impending launch of campaigns throughout the nation.
“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 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,’’ the President noted.
He said the cultural diversity of Nigeria “represents our pride as a nation and identity as a people,’’ while urging the diplomats to also build friendship and acquaintances in the course of their stay in the country.
The Canadian High Commissioner thanked the President for the occasion of accepting the Letters of Credence in his remarks on behalf of the ambassadors.
“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.