President Muhammadu Buhari advised foreign envoys in Nigeria on Monday in Abuja, in the run-up to the 2023 general elections, to be governed by diplomatic practices to ensure that their activities stay within the bounds of their profession.
While receiving Letters of Credence from the Ambassadors of Japan, the European Union, Burundi, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Cape Verde, France, Qatar, and the High Commissioners of Sierra Leone and Ghana at State House, the President warned them that they would be taking up diplomatic responsibilities in Nigeria during a period of great political uncertainty.
He said; ‘‘Nigeria’s national elections are due in early 2023. The momentum for enhanced political activities is therefore expected to commence soon.
‘‘The nature of our politicking often gives the impression of very rancorous engagements. It is the nature of politics here. Besides, democracy and related democratic activities in the build-up to elections are necessarily rowdy and very argumentative, but very much within the limits of freedom of action that the art of democracy permits.
‘‘As you settle down in the face of these developments, it is my hope that you will also be guided by diplomatic practices, to ensure that your activities remain within the limits of your profession,’’ President Buhari said.
The President told the newly accredited envoys that he looked forward to a more robust relationship with each of their countries.
He declared that Nigeria is open to more foreign direct investments in the Education, Health, Transportation and Agricultural sectors, and would welcome improved bilateral relations, especially in wider trading and cultural contacts.
The President acknowledged that while Nigeria enjoys very cordial bilateral relations with the aforementioned countries, their diplomatic representatives must work harder to enhance this level of relationship in the interest of the peoples of our countries.
‘‘It is my hope that, as you settle down to your responsibilities of promoting unity, amity, enhanced understanding, better economic opportunities and the pursuit of peace between your respective countries and the Federal Government of Nigeria, you will make it a point of duty to appreciate our country’s diversity as a source of not only pride but advantage as we are definitely stronger together.
‘‘You will find in us as people, the level of vibrancy that defines us, as uniquely Nigerian, eager to make friends, learn other people’s way of living and imbued with great appetite for adaptation.