Worried about issues of interferences by foreign countries in political affairs over African countries, President Muhammadu Buhari has sent a strong message to the government of foreign powers, asking them to stay far away from Nigeria’s internal affairs.
Over the past few years, Nigeria has been grappling with foreign meddlesomeness in her internal affairs through malicious deployment of the internet and media which led to the face-off between the federal government, social network and microblogging site, Twitter. To which Twitter was suspended indefinitely in the country in June 2021 and reinstated in January 2022 as well as the strong disapproval of unverified security alerts issued by certain embassies in the country.
As Nigerians prepare for the much awaited 2023 general election, Buhari told the governments of foreign powers to diplomatically confine their activities within the terrains of their primary assignments in Nigeria and not meddle with her politics.
The President said this yesterday as he received letters of credence from Ambassadors of Switzerland, Sweden, Republic of Ireland, the Kingdom of Thailand, the Republic of Senegal and the Republic of South Sudan, at the State House.
He said; ‘‘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 itself. I wish you all success in your respective tours of duty and at the same time encourage you to take time to enjoy the unique nature and culture at your disposal as you travel across our country,’’
President Buhari also said Nigeria is working hand in hand with ECOWAS to deal with insecurity in some West African countries and to implement strategies to contain the spate of unconstitutional changes in government. He urged the countries to cooperate and collaborate in order to overcome challenges in West Africa. The President invited friendly countries to ‘‘support efforts to address the problem of insecurity, fight against corruption, diversification of the economy, and efforts in promoting good governance.’’
The president told the Ambassadors that Nigeria wants cordial and mutually beneficial bilateral relations and cooperation with their respective countries, and he commended the roles of their predecessors who demonstrated diligence and commitment to advance and move these causes forward.
‘‘I am therefore confident that your appointments are obviously deliberate to build on the successes of your immediate predecessors in order to advance our relations to significant and enviable heights. As you settle down to your diplomatic responsibilities, I am hopeful that you will appreciate the political, socio-economic and cultural diversities which are the hallmarks of the Nigerian nation
‘‘I encourage you to build friendships and take time to fraternise across the length and breadth of the country including interfacing with both the public and private sectors in bid to explore areas of mutual benefit to your respective countries and Nigeria. Sectors such as Healthcare, Education, Infrastructure, Local Manufacturing, Pharmaceuticals, Agribusiness, Transportation, Solid Minerals are areas of particular interest to us and foreign investors alike.
‘‘This will enable us to collectively strive to resuscitate all our countries’ economies in the post pandemic global recovery processes,’’ a statement by presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, quoted the president as saying.