Buhari: US helped stabilise Nigeria
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday described the United States’ support before, during and after the 2015 general elections as vital to Nigeria’s stability.
He spoke while receiving the outgoing US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The president said the US insistence on free, fair and violent-free elections largely contributed to the deepening of democracy in Nigeria.
“The U.S support before, during and after the 2015 elections was vital to Nigeria’s stability and I will never forget the role they played in the stability of Nigeria,” he said.
Buhari also said Nigeria was lucky to have had a chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who was competent and courageous.
“Mr Ambassador, you occupied a position at a very strategic time in Nigeria’s history and I hope our historians will record this because it meant so much for our stability. I hope you write a book on your experience in Nigeria. The commitment of U.S in supporting Nigeria has been unprecedented,” he said.
President Buhari also thanked the Americans for their military, intelligence and humanitarian support to Nigeria on the ongoing fight against the Boko Haram insurgency.
He said Nigeria also valued America’s contributions to promoting regional peace and stability through the instrumentality of the G7.
Also while receiving the outgoing High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria, Ambassador Perry Calderwood yesterday, Buhari commended the government of Canada on humanitarian assistance to Nigerians displaced by the insurgency in the North-east as well as their commitment to polio eradication in the country.
In their separate remarks, Entwistle and Calderwood expressed concern on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the North-east with looming reports of food crisis and malnutrition.
Entwistle said bilateral relations between Nigeria and the US had remained very vibrant and cordial, noting that he had a marvellous three and a half years in Nigeria.
Calderwood conveyed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s desire to strengthen ties with Nigeria in Canada’s quest for partnership on international engagements, including its bid for a non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council from 2021 to 2022.