The Presidency on Thursday expressed its satisfaction with the existing bilateral relationship between Nigeria and its neighbors, confirming that such ties have helped enormously, especially in the areas of tackling border insecurity, illegal importation of arms and smuggling.
The President’s Senior Special Assistant for Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, revealed this in Niamey, Niger, shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned a major highway named after him in the state capital.
He said that President Buhari, upon taking office in 2015, opened a robust dialogue with neighboring Niger, Benin, Chad and Cameroon, an approach that has resulted in positive diplomatic ties of mutual interest to both countries.
“President Buhari has great respect for our neighbors and understands the essence of the neighborhood. Before this administration, some of these countries complained that Nigerian leaders would not even speak to them,” Shehu noted.
The presidential adviser explained that “we have opened the dialogue with them and it is bearing fruit. We are partnering with them on essential issues, especially security, fighting smuggling and importing illegal weapons, so the partnership is complete.”
According to Mr. Shehu, President Buhari He leaves behind on May 29, 2023 a strong relationship, built on a solid rock with Nigeria’s neighbours, and one that his successor is expected to build on.
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While justifying the naming of a road after President Buhari in Niger, Mr. Shehu said the development was an indication of the tremendous respect Nigeria’s neighbors have for him.
The President of the Republic of Niger, Mohammed Bazoun, who was accompanied by the Mayor of Niamey and other officials, took President Buhari on a tour of the 3.8-kilometre boulevard commissioned in accordance with the country’s constitutional provisions.
President Buhari is in Niamey to join other African leaders at the African Union (AU) summit on industrialization and economic diversification.