Don’t meddle in 2023 election, Buhari tells diplomats
President Muhammadu Buhari has advised diplomats in the country not to meddle in the internal politics of the country as countdown to 2023 elections begins.
He spoke at the presentation of Letters of Credence ceremony at the State House, Abuja, yesterday.
“You are assuming your diplomatic responsibilities in Nigeria at a very interesting political period, as 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,” Buhari said.
The President received the Ambassadors of Czech Republic, Zdenek Krejci; Italy, Stephano De Leo; Spain, Juan Ignacio Sell Sanz and Israel, Michael Shual Freeman.
Calling for the envoys’ support, the President noted: “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 devastation of our environments caused by climate change, among other existential threats to our collective peace, progress and shared values.”
He told the envoys that the countries they represent enjoy very cordial bilateral relations and cooperation with Nigeria, spanning socio-economic and cultural spheres.
He said: “The envious task of building on the successes of your respective predecessors will further advance our relations to significant heights for the benefits of our countries and peoples.
“As you settle down to your diplomatic responsibilities, I am sure that you will appreciate the uniqueness and strength in our country’s political, socio-economic and cultural diversities, in terms of both human and natural resources.”
In his response, on behalf of the diplomats, Krejci assured the President of the representatives’ “comprehensive cooperation,” adding that they will work for the development of Nigeria, through strengthening of mutual and beneficial relations with their countries.
Also, Buhari received the Ambassador of Senegal in a farewell audience, asking him to convey the congratulations of Nigeria to President Macky Sall on victory of the Teranga Lions at the just concluded Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
“I’m sending the congratulations reluctantly because our own country got beaten in the tournament,” the President jocularly told His Excellency, Babacar Matar Ndiaye.
He lauded him for a successful tour of duty in Nigeria, which lasted almost four years, and observed: “Our relationship is very strong.”