Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, yesterdayÂ handed the key to the federal capital city to President of Cote dâ€™Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara.
The handling over and the conferment of honorary citizen of the territory was made onÂ behalf President Muhammadu Buhari.
The presentation took place atÂ the Presidential Wing of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.
Bello declared that the token conferred on President Ouattara the Honorary Citizenship of Abuja with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto.
He also noted that it was a testament of the strong friendship and cordial relationship existing between the people of Nigeria and Cote dâ€™ Ivoire.
Receiving the key to the City of Abuja, Ouattara asked the FCT minister to convey to Buhari his sincere appreciation for the kind gesture.
To further bear testimony to the bond of friendship between the two countries, a throng of Ivoirians resident in Abuja were on hand at the airport to welcome their president.
Fielding questions with journalists, the Ambassador of the Republic of Cote dâ€™Ivoire to Nigeria, Mrs. Toure Maman Nee Kone, said her Ouattara was in Nigeria to felicitate with Buhari, on his recovery and return from London where he went on a medical vacation.
This visit, she remarked, was the third in the life of this administration and buttresses the strong economic, cultural and political relationship between Nigeria and Cote dâ€™Ivoire as members of the Economic Communiy of West Africa Â States (ECOWAS).
A leader of Ivoirian people resident in Abuja and a staff of ECOWAS Dr. Guevera Yao, noted that the Ivoirian people resident in Nigeria were happy with the country.
He said: â€œNigeria is a great country; itâ€™s a beautiful country. Iâ€™ve been here for almost eight years and Nigerians are a very warm people, a welcoming place. We areÂ here to work and to contribute our effort to the integration of West Africa.
â€œECOWAS is a very big and very vibrant institution. As you know, we have 15 countries in ECOWAS. Each country taken individually does not have the strength that it actually requires. So, putting ourselves together is actually very good.
It gives us more opportunity to face the outside world. The ECOWAS is actually a very good institution. A lot has been done and we still have more to do.â€
Another Â Ivoirian Yusuf Doso, disclosed that many of the Ivoirians in Nigeria in their private capacity were are into various kinds of works especially as fashion designers and tailors. He said Nigerians have been welcoming.