President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja said he understood the yearnings of Nigerians and strongly believed in the collective dream for a greater country, assuring that all would be done to ensure that results of 2019 elections reflected the will of the people.He made the remark while receiving the Letter of Credence from Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Dr. Jyrki Juhani Pulkkinen, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
In a statement by the Special Adviser on Media and publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari said Nigerians reserved the right to elect leaders at various levels in 2019, stressing that all efforts would be made to safeguard the integrity of the process.
“I respect the people’s feelings. I assure all that we will have a free and fair election next year,’’ he said
The president congratulated Finland on its 101 independence anniversary on December 6, 2018 and commended the growing relations with Nigeria, especially in areas of Information Communication Technology (ICT), trade and education.
In his remarks, the envoy said the areas of mutual benefit in relations with Nigeria could be extended to electricity, smart technology and crises management initiatives, pointing out that he will work hard to improve the trade figures and exchanges.
“We will like to contribute to Africa rising, and we know that Nigeria is the biggest country on the continent, so we are very interested in the growth of Nigeria,’’ he said.
At the level of the United Nations, Pulkkinen said his country would continue to support the restructuring of the multilateral institution to give greater roles to African countries like Nigeria.
Buhari, who also received letter of Credence from Ambassador of France, Mr. Jerome Pasquier, said French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Abuja, and the stopover in Lagos, was really impressive in bolstering both countries’ relations.
The president said he was impressed with relations between France and its former colonies in Africa, noting that France continues to play positive roles in promoting security and economic growth in the countries.
“France is investing so much in Nigeria and we are grateful,’’ he added.
Buhari, however, called for more support in the fight against terrorism as the networks keep expanding with fighters moving across borders to support insurgents.
Responding, the Ambassador said President Macron would continue to support Nigeria, especially in the ongoing war against terrorism, with specific interest in gathering and sharing of intelligence.
He commended the president for Nigeria’s role in resolving the crisis in Togo and Guinea Bissau.
Buhari equally received Letter of Credence from the Ambassador of Czech Republic, Mr. Marek Skolil, assuring him of improved economic relations in areas like solid minerals exploration.
Skolil said his country would continue to support Nigeria’s military in the fight against terrorism in the North East.
“Nigeria is a very important country for us. We look forward to stronger ties, particularly with the armed forces,’’ he said