2023: Focus On Your Profession, Our Elections Usually Look Rowdy – Buhari Tells Foreign Diplomats
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday cautioned foreign envoys in the country against interfering in the nation’s politics as the 2023 general elections draw closer.
The President who spoke at the State House in Abuja when he received Letters of Credence from the various diplomats urged them to ensure their operations and activities remain within the guidelines and provisions of diplomatic relationships.
The newly accredited Ambassadors are 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).
He noted that the envoys were coming on board at a time the nation was gearing up for another major election and political activities are gaining center stage.
Buhari who warned them that politics in Nigeria may look rowdy and argumentative, urged them not to be distracted by the noise as it is all in the peculiar nature of playing politics in the country, adding that such political activities are always guided by democratic laws and allowances.
The President was quoted to have made the submission in a statement titled, ‘2023 Elections: Be Guided By Diplomatic Practices, President Buhari Urges Foreign Envoys’ which was made available to newsmen by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
‘‘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,’’ Adesina quoted Buhari as saying.
Away from the issue of politicking, the statement also revealed that President Buhari declared the readiness of Nigeria to receive more foreign direct investments in various sectors.
He described Nigerians to the foreign envoys as loving and accomodating people who are always vibrant in their approach.
“The President told the newly accredited envoys that he looked forward to a more robust relationship with each of their countries.
“He declared that Nigeria is 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.
“The President acknowledged that while Nigeria enjoys very cordial bilateral relations with the aforementioned countries, their diplomatic representatives must work harder to enhance this level of relationship in the interest of the peoples of our countries.
‘‘It is my hope that, as you settle down to your responsibilities of promoting unity, amity, enhanced understanding, better economic opportunities and the pursuit of peace between your respective countries and the Federal Government of Nigeria, you will make it a point of duty to appreciate our country’s diversity as a source of not only pride but advantage as we are definitely stronger together.
‘‘You will find in us as people, the level of vibrancy that defines us, as uniquely Nigerian, eager to make friends, learn other people’s way of living and imbued with great appetite for adaptation.
‘‘Excellencies, the world will definitely be a better place and much easier place to live in if all cultivate the culture of patience and tolerance in order to appreciate the values of each of us and the contributions that we all can make, for sustainable peace and development, globally,” Buhari was quoted to have said.
The President also submitted that despite the security challenges facing the country, his government is confronting insecurity squarely and making progress.
He identified factors responsible for insecurity in Nigeria to include terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, cybercrimes, and maritime issues, urging international collaborations in ensuring victory.
‘‘As a Government and as a nation, we continue to make steady progress despite daunting challenges, notably in the area of security.
‘‘Different factors accounted for this, amongst which are, first, that insecurity linked to terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, cybercrimes, and maritime issues, are transborder acts that go beyond the abilities of any single country to effectively contain.
‘‘That is why matters of security have become the business of all the nations of the world to work together to overcome. Second, our borders are very long and porous, and their effective policing has become a daunting challenge.
‘‘Third, easy circulation of small arms and light weapons, from the Sahel-Libya axis and the Central African region, have made access to these weapons readily available which inevitably compounds our national and regional security.
‘‘Despite these huge challenges, concerted efforts by Government and our Armed Forces have accounted for the largely degraded capacities of terrorists across the country,’’ Buhari told the envoys.