President Muhammadu Buhari has advised diplomats in the country to stay within the limits of their schedules, and not intrude in the internal politics of the country as countdown to 2023 general elections begins.
Buhari gave the advise on Thursday at the presentation of Letters of Credence ceremony held at the State House, Abuja.
The president, who welcomed the Ambassadors of Czech Republic, Zdenek Krejci, Italy, Stephano De Leo; Spain, Juan Ignacio Sell Sanz and Israel, Michael Shual Freeman, noted that his administration is continuing to make steady progress despite the challenges confronting the country.
Buhari however, called for the support of the Foreign Ambassadors in tackling rising global insecurity, and strengthening of communality.
He 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.’’
“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.
“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.’’
The President 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.
President Buhari urged the Ambassadors to build lasting friendships in the course of performing their duties that will 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.
We are engaging in frank self-retrospection in order to identify and isolate appropriate containment strategies that can help de-escalate the drift into the unconstitutional seizure of power in the sub region,’’ he added.
President Buhari assured of partnership and mutual cooperation in canvassing more Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in healthcare system, education, infrastructure, local manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, agribusiness and transportation