From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, advised diplomats in the country to stay within the limits of their schedules and not intrude in the internal politics of Nigeria.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari gave the warning at the presentation of Letters of Credence to the envoys at the State House, Abuja, against the backdrop of preparations for the 2023 elections.
The president, while welcoming the Ambassadors of Czech Republic, Zdenek Krejci; Italy, Stephano De Leo; Spain, Juan Sanz and Israel, Michael Shual Freeman, said:You are assuming your diplomatic responsibilities in Nigeria at very interesting political period as Nigeria’s national elections are due in early 2023.
“As you settle down in the face of these developments, it is my hope that you will also be guided by diplomatic practice, to ensure that your activities remain within the limits of your profession as you monitor the build-up to and the conduct of the general elections next year.”
The president called for the support of the envoys in tackling rising global insecurity, and strengthening of communality.
“We are living in unprecedented times and with so many uncertainties, especially with the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the rise in global insecurity and the devastation of our environments caused by climate change among other existential threats to our collective peace, progress and shared values.
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“Different factors that accounted for these challenges go beyond the abilities of any single country to effectively contain alone. Matters of security have become the business of all the nations of the world to work closely together to build consensus, in order to overcome these challenges,” he said.
Buhari said Nigeria would continue to make steady progress despite daunting challenges, especially in the areas of insecurity, fight against corruption, diversification of the economy, and efforts in promoting good governance.
He urged the Ambassadors to build lasting friendships in the course of performing their duties that would go beyond assignments in Nigeria.
On the regional level, the president said Nigeria will continue to work with other member-states of ECOWAS and regional blocs to deal with the problems of terrorism, trans-border crimes, banditry, maritime issues and unconstitutional change of government.
In his response, on behalf of the diplomats, the Ambassador of Czech Republic assured the president of “comprehensive cooperation’’ of the representatives.
Krejc said the envoys will work for the development of Nigeria, through strengthening of mutual and beneficial relations with their countries.