September 28, (THEWILL) – President Muhammadu Buhari has said his administration will conduct a good transition process, at the end of which a new set of political leaders will emerge in 2023.
This is just as Buhari vowed to allow citizens’ participation in democracy through freedom of speech and robust political discourse.
President Buhari spoke on Tuesday, when he received Letters of Credence from Ambassadors and High Commissioners of six countries at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The Ambassadors and High Commissioners included Gangadharan Balasubramanian, India; Mrs Annett Gunther, Germany; Mohamed Yousif Ibrahim Abdelmannan, Sudan; Mrs Gerengbo Yakivu Pascaline, Democratic Republic of Congo; Abdullah M.A. Abu Shawesh, Palestine; and Willem Wouter Plomp, Netherlands.
In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, President Buhari urged the diplomats to build on the existing good relations that their predecessors had achieved by being more proactive in engagements.
He said: “Today’s occasion, during which you have just presented your Letters of Credence to me, officially marks the formal assumption of your representational duties as Ambassadors/High Commissioners of your respective countries to Nigeria.
“You represent some of the most prominent countries on the earth and some of our important trading, political and cultural partners.
“The bilateral relationship that exists between each of your countries and the Federal Republic of Nigeria is warm and very cordial, and the cooperation and collaboration between us in several areas, such as socio-economic, political, security, education, and cultural spheres.”
Speaking on the build-up to the 2023 general election, President Buhari said: “I am highly optimistic that we will conduct a good transition process at the end of which a new set of political leaders will freely emerge.
“You are assuming your diplomatic responsibilities in Nigeria, at a very interesting political period as Nigeria’s national elections are due in February 2023. I want to state again, as I did just a few days ago at the UN General Assembly, that we remain committed to free and fair elections.”
The President further called for more collectiveness in tackling some of the challenges faced by nations, noting that the climatic, economic, and security concerns can only be solved through shared vision, skills, and efforts.
President Buhari added that Nigeria firmly remains committed to multilateralism, saying: “For us in Nigeria, we continue to make steady progress, despite the daunting challenges of insecurity, in the fight against corruption, diversification of the economy, and our efforts in promoting good governance, amongst other things.
“At the sub-regional and regional levels, Nigeria has continued to work with other member-states of ECOWAS and other regional blocs, to deal with the problems of terrorism, trans-border crimes, banditry, maritime issues, proliferation of Small Arms and Light Weapons, unconstitutional change of government, to mention some of the challenges we face.”
Speaking on behalf of the diplomats, the Indian High Commissioner to Nigeria assured President Buhari of the full support of their countries ahead of the 2023 general election, adding that they would work with the Federal Government, and the leader that emerges after the elections.
Balasubramanian said all the Ambassadors and High Commissioners will work to consolidate existing good relations, while Germany will focus on climatic issues, and the Netherlands pursue interests in agriculture and stimulate youths’ capacity in entrepreneurship.