President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a stern warning to new diplomats posted to the country against meddling in local politics, especially the 2023 general election billed for next year.
The subtle warning was handed down to the ambassadors at the presentation of Letters of Credence at the State House, Abuja on Thursday.
Among the new ambassadors are the Czech Republic, Zdenek Krejci; Italy, Stephano De Leo; Spain, Juan Ignacio Sell Sanz; and Israel, Michael Shual Freeman.
Buhari’s words, “You are assuming your diplomatic responsibilities in Nigeria at the 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 communality.
“We are living in unprecedented times and with so many uncertainties, especially with the outbreak of the 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.
“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.
“For us in Nigeria,’’ President Buhari told the diplomats, “We continue to make steady progress despite the daunting challenges, especially in the areas of insecurity, fight against corruption, diversification of the economy, and our efforts in promoting good governance, amongst other aspirations.’’
Buhari also noted that Nigeria’s differences and divergence in culture and religion had contributed immensely in cementing unity, as a people, as well as spurring religious tolerance and respect for one another.
He reminded the ambassadors of the need to build lasting friendships in the course of performing their duties, saying it will go beyond assignments in Nigeria.