Some ambassadors have congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari on his victory at the Feb. 23 presidential election, saying his re-election portends a positive image for Nigeria in the international community.
The envoys are Amb. Hassan Hassan, Nigeria’s Ambassador and Deputy Chief of Mission in Nigeria’s Embassy in Washington DC and Prof. Tijjani Bande, Nigeria’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Others are Amb. Audu Kadiri, Nigeria’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office and Other International Organisations in Geneva, Amb. Akinremi Bolaji, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Singapore and Amb. Hakeem Balogun, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Indonesia.
Bande told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that “what is important is that around the world and especially in West Africa, citizens are happy that there is continuous improvement in the electoral process in Nigeria.’’
“From the campaigns, we saw people going to seek for votes; we saw that the people campaigned.
“The idea that you need a thug to go around and rig, certainly, we have grown beyond that.
“ Nobody would say that this was not a good election.
“The other side is that the integrity of the process also was a reflection of the integrity of the president himself; he had always said that nobody should rig election in his name,’’ he also said.
Bande further said the people who initially thought those in power simply used their position to set an outcome for themselves were proved wrong as Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress lost in some areas.
“There are areas they did far less than they expected but the idea now is that there is no part of the country that is off limits to any candidate, which is important.
“A candidate can get good numbers of people to work for him or her in all parts of the country. This is extremely important.
“Now, going forward, the focus on anti-corruption, infrastructure, peace and security in the Northeast and around the country are things that are extremely important for Nigeria, but not only for Nigeria.
“They are also important for Africa and for the world and the president has stated that he would focus even more on those things that his administration has done and people have appreciated,’’ he said.
Hassan, on his part, said Buhari’s re-election would ultimately consolidate on the subsisting cordial relations between Nigeria and the United States.
“The Nigeria-U.S. political relations reached its peak with the State Visit of President Buhari to the White House on the invitation of President Donald Trump in April 2018.
“The two presidents exchanged views and had discussions on matters of mutual interests, and with the re-election of President Buhari, it is expected this would be enhanced for the benefits of both countries,’’ he said.
The Nigerian envoy said U.S. investors had been steadily investing in Nigerian markets with a total of 14 U.S. companies between 2017 and March 2018 adding that the trend was expected to continue.
“The re-election of President Buhari for another four-year term will bring about the growth and development of meaningful relations between Nigeria and the U.S. in all facets of political, economic and security spheres,’’ he said.
Kadiri, in his congratulatory message, said: “For we in the forefront of executing Nigeria’s foreign policy and diplomatic agenda, President Buhari’s victory in a free, fair and credible election is reassuring.
“This is because it consolidates the mandate for our diplomatic Missions abroad to redouble their efforts in the pursuit of the three signature programmes of the present administration at the external plane, namely, fighting corruption, combating insecurity and the diversification of the economy to create jobs and wealth.
“In Geneva in particular, we will strengthen our demarche in urging the international community to join hands with us in combating corruption, in particular, the repatriation of our looted funds, stashed in several jurisdictions abroad without further delays or preconditions.
“The timely repatriation of our looted funds and tackling illicit financial flows generally will contribute to advancing the attainment of the sustainable development goals and the economic, social and cultural rights of the Nigerian people,’’ he said.
According to Bolaji, Buhari’s victory at the polls is a testimony of the outstanding achievements of his administration, his impeccable records of fighting corruption and his sterling qualities as an individual.
“I faithfully share in the hope and conviction that you will achieve even more success in your second term in terms of tackling illicit financial flows and expediting the recovery of Nigerian assets hidden in other countries,’’ he stated.
For Balogun, Buhari’s re-election ushers in a new era of engagements with Indonesia in the areas of trade and investment, particularly in agriculture, energy, solid minerals, oil and gas, manufacturing, tourism and infrastructure development.
“Mr President, in view of the subsisting cordial bilateral relations between Nigeria and the Republic of Indonesia, your victory heralds a new era of engagements which would unfailingly heighten bilateral relations and lead to mutually beneficial outcomes for our two countries,” Balogun said. (NAN)