… Says new national airline not priority
From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
In far away Equatorial Guinea, President Muhammadu Buhari said the anti-corruption war of his administration will be merciless.
He also declared that a national carrier is not on his priority list for now.
The president further said his administration’s main area of focus now was reducing the level of poverty in the country.
He said developing infrastructure needed to boost production in all sectors of the economy and creating more jobs for young Nigerians, and other actions that would directly improve living conditions of ordinary Nigerians will continue to be prioritised by his administration.
President Buhari said this in response to complaints by members of the Nigerian community about the absence of direct flights between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.
He assured them that his administration’s war against corruption would remain “fearless, relentless and merciless.
“We will be merciless and relentless in pursuing all those who abused public trust. Nigerians will see how some of the elite conspired to run the nation down,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea have signed an agreement on the establishment of a combined Maritime Policing and Security Patrol Committee.
The security patrols agreement signed in Malabo yesterday was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of President Buhari’s visit, where both countries also agreed to discuss greater cooperation on oil and gas production and a bilateral trade agreement.
According to Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu in a statement, the conclusion and signing of the agreement is expected to enhance security in the Gulf of Guinea and help in curbing maritime crimes such as piracy, crude oil theft, sabotage of oil rigs and arms smuggling
Both countries also agreed that the Nigeria-Equatorial Guinea Joint Commission be revived from its present state of dormancy and empowered to play its proper role in strengthening of bilateral relations between Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea.
President Buhari and President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo expressed satisfaction with the atmosphere of trust and solidarity that now exists between countries.
Buhari, who has since returned to Abuja, thanked President Mbasogo and the people of Equatorial Guinea for the warm reception accorded him and his delegation during the visit.
Also, Buhari has dedicated Equatorial Guinea’s highest national honour, the Grand Collar of the Order of the Independenc, to Nigerians, who, he said, have worked tirelessly for peace in the country and Africa.
He was given the honour on Monday in Malabo.
“I will like to express profound gratitude for the honour given to me and my people.
“There has never been a time for greater neighbourliness on our continent in the interest of peace, security and economic stability than now.”
The president said that, as African countries faced common challenges, they must strive to cooperate more to find workable solutions that will facilitate rapid socio-economic development on the continent.
President Buhari pledged that under his leadership, Nigeria would continue to make significant contributions to peace, political stability and progress in Africa.
President Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea said the honour was conferred on Buhari for his “personal integrity, exemplary leadership style and courage to fight terrorism in order to ensure peace and safety in Africa.
“We deemed it fit and appropriate to honour this son of Africa for the great work he is doing, which includes tackling Boko Haram, a great menace to the continent,” President Mbasogo said.