President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians taking the risky desert-Mediterranean route to Europe to stay at home as his administration is making efforts to make the country more live-able.
President Buhari spoke today, when he received the outgoing High Commissioner of the Republic of Namibia, Peingeondjabi Shipoh.
“We will do our best to make our country live-able again”, President Buhari said.
He said with Africa’s great potentials, there was no need for the illegal exodus to Europe, done at grave risk to lives and limbs.
According to him, the sheer desperation that makes Nigerian youths dare both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, all in the bid to take up menial jobs in Europe, is hurting the pride of the country.
He said there were vast opportunities for Nigeria and Namibia to cooperate in areas like agriculture and trade.
He also recalled the sacrifices made for the freedom of Namibia, particularly by the administrations of Generals Murtala Muhammed and Olusegun Obasanjo.
The outgoing High Commissioner, who spent four years and eleven months in Nigeria, said the country had become second home for him and his family.
“I enjoyed great support in carrying out my duties. I return home with absolute satisfaction that our two countries are more than ready for intra-African trade and exchange of state visits by the leaders. Our two countries have a lot in common, and Africa can only be developed by Africans themselves.”
Mr Shipoh wished Nigeria successful general elections in 2019.
President Muhammadu Buhari later assured Nigerians and international community that the forthcoming general elections in 2019 will be free and fair, saying it will usher the country into another clime of maturity, peace and unity.
President Buhari, who received Letters of Credence from four ambassadors at the State House, including the Ambassador of the Peoples’ Republic of Japan, Mr Yutaka Kikuta, said the country’s political and electoral institutions have continued to evolve in strength, skill and experience after each election.
“We are currently at the threshold of another general election and after five general elections in the country since 1999, we expect that the 2019 elections will be free and fair.
“The political system is good and if people work hard they will succeed,’’ the President said.
President Buhari also said the increase in number of political parties that will field candidates in 2019 elections indicates more democratic consciousness among Nigerians and willingness to serve the country.
Receiving Letter of Credence from the Ambassador of the Russian Federation, Alexey Shebarshin, the President noted that discussions on reviving the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, partnerships in agriculture and other bilateral interests in trade and economic development will be sustained, commending the country for always standing by Nigeria.
“We have opened discussions on the Ajaokuta Steel Complex, and we will continue,’’ President Buhari added.
The President told the Ambassador of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Richardo Guerra De Araujo, that the historical ties between both countries and the shared potentials for growth will be further explored, with strong emphasis on economic and social development.
He said the number of Nigerians in Brazil already provide a strong reason for deeper and richer discussions for both countries.
Receiving the Letter of Credence of the Ambassador of United Arab Emirates, Fahad Al Taffaq, President Buhari assured him that Nigeria remains committed to strengthening the bilateral relationship that has existed between both countries for many years.
The President said the courtesies extended to Nigerians in the United Arab Emirates was commendable, assuring the envoy that his administration will continue to strengthen business and trade relations between both countries.
In his remarks, the Ambassador of Japan said his country remained grateful for Nigeria’s concern and support during the flooding that devastated the country, promising to work hard to further enhance relations in technology, agriculture and trade.
The Ambassadors of Russia, Brazil and United Arab Emirates assured the president that they will work hard to ensure improved relations in key sectors of the economy, while wishing Nigeria the best in the forthcoming elections.