Buhari to Stress Importance of Credible Polls in Monrovia as Liberia Marks 175th Independence

Deji Elumoye

As Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone head to the polls in 2023, President Muhammadu Buhari would today stress the importance of free, fair and credible polls in the countries.

The President, according to a press release issued yesterday by his spokesman, Mallam Garba Shehu, would deliver an address in Monrovia, the Liberian capital, in his capacity as the Special Guest of Honour at the 175th independence anniversary of Liberia.

The president who leaves Abuja this morning, would be expected to speak on the anniversary theme: “Fostering Unity, Protecting Our Peace for Development and Prosperity.”

According to the statement, without rule of Law and constitutional rule, there cannot be security peace and development.

“Peace and security of Liberia (and Sierra-Leone) is important to Nigeria given the enormous investments in men, material and resources expended by this country to secure the two states.

“Without the leadership of Nigeria in the context of ECOWAS to secure these two, there would not have been a Liberia on the map in its present configuration today.

“Bilaterally, Nigeria and Liberia may bring to the table issues of cross-border terrorism, bolstering defence and trade ties.”

The warmth of the relationship and personal chemistry between President Buhari and George Weah of Liberia is no less significant and will play a key role at the event.

Buhari who would be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, was expected back in the country later today.

Nigeria played a leading role in the stabilisation of the West African nation in the early 90s, leading to the establishment of democratic rule and has continued to assist the country in many ways especially through the Technical Aids Corps scheme.

In 2019, Buhari was conferred with the highest national honour in the country, the Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of Knighthood of the Pioneers of the Republic of Liberia, in recognition of Nigeria’s continued support towards the development of the country.

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