By Deji Elumoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has written formally to thank China for its support to Nigeria in defence matters and infrastructural development.
The president, in a letter dated January 28, 2021, addressed to the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties between Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China, expressed satisfaction with the progress made so far and thanked China for its support in defence matters and infrastructural development of Nigeria, among others.
Buhari also rejoiced with Chinese across the world as they commence celebrations marking the new Chinese Year of the Ox on February 12.
The president’s letter entitled “Letter of Felicitations,” reads:
“It is now 50 years since the establishment of Nigeria-China diplomatic relations, and I am delighted that the bilateral ties have achieved far-reaching and fruitful results, on the basis of close coordination and mutual trust, bringing great benefits to our countries and peoples.
“As celebrations of the Chinese Year of the Ox by all Chinese across the world commence on February 12th this year, on behalf of the government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I use this opportunity to extend my warmest and most sincere greetings and wishes to you and the Chinese people for a promising and auspicious Lunar New Year.
“Nigeria is very satisfied with the progress of bilateral relations and we thank China for its support to us in various ways; in the building of rail, road, power, defence, and many other areas.
“Since the COVID-19 outbreak, China has been working with Nigeria and other African countries to safeguard the lives and health of our citizens, adding new dimensions to our friendship. We acknowledge that Chinese support tremendously strengthened our effort against the pandemic.
“In recent years, Nigeria and China have also witnessed the steady development of their strategic partnership. In the face of significant challenges faced by the international community, the two sides are upholding a common position of preserving multilateralism, not interfering in other countries’ internal affairs and safeguarding the common interest of developing countries.
“This year is vital for China-Nigeria relations. The FOCAC has become a model of mutually beneficial cooperation between Nigeria and China, as well as between Africa and China. Nigeria is ready to work with China to make the new session of FOCAC this year a success.”