Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari said Tuesday that the joint efforts of nations to address security challenges around the world and in Nigeria are invaluable.
He called for more cooperation in fighting terrorism, banditry and insurgency.
Buhari made the statements as he received credentials from the Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador James Kingston Christoff, and the Mexican Ambassador to Nigeria, Juan Alfred Miranda Oritz, at State House,
The president told the diplomats that successes in curbing insecurity have been achieved through cross-border cooperation and that more can be accomplished.
“The devastating effects of global insecurity, climate change, and the post-COVID-19 era have disrupted the global economy. Nations continue to struggle to recover from these multiple global challenges,” he said.
“The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has undermined the progress countries have made on food security over the past decade.
Political instability in Libya continues to fuel terrorism in the Sahel and undermine democratic development in West and Central African regions.
“Nigeria is not left out of this as we struggle to rid our country of banditry, kidnappings, pastoralist and peasant crises and insurgencies. However, with the support of friendly countries like yours, we are making significant progress to continue these struggles until we overcome these challenges,” he said.
At the regional level, President Buhari said Nigeria was working with other ECOWAS member states and other regional blocs to address the problems of terrorism, transnational crime, maritime crimes such as piracy and illegal fishing, illicit drug and human trafficking, banditry, and unconstitutional changes of government.
“I believe that security issues have become the concern of all nations, as these challenges are beyond the capacity of any single country to effectively contain them. The world must therefore work closely together and Nigeria is counting on your support in strengthening relations between our countries bilaterally and multilaterally to overcome these global threats to civilization,” he added.
The President urged the diplomats to monitor political developments in the country leading up to the 2023 elections, but to remain true to their professional ethics of non-interference.
President Buhari pointed out that the national elections in Nigeria were fast approaching and candidates of their parties at various levels were beginning to build consensus within their respective parties in preparation for the early commencement of campaigns across the country.
“As the drums of campaigning sound, I urge you to be guided by diplomatic practices to ensure that your activities remain within the confines of your profession as you oversee the preparation for the elections and the conduct of the general elections,” he said.
The president also advised diplomats to build on the successes of their predecessors.
“The task before you requires that you both build on the successes of your predecessors and make further efforts to expand and advance the cordial bilateral relations and cooperation between Nigeria and your respective countries. These relations, as you all know, extend to political, socio-economic and cultural areas that have benefited our peoples over time.
I am confident that as you carry out your diplomatic duties during your tour of duty, you will take the time to appreciate the uniqueness and strength of our country’s cultural diversity, both in terms of human and natural resources, as well as the country’s flora and fauna,” he said.
He said Nigeria’s cultural diversity “represents our pride as a nation and our identity as a people,” while urging the diplomats to also make friends and acquaintances during their stay in the country.
In his remarks, the Canadian High Commissioner thanked the President on behalf of the ambassadors for the ceremony of receiving the credentials.
“Today marks the official beginning of our cooperation with the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We will work closely with ministers and officials to build a progressive relationship,” Christoff said.