From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency, yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari will travel to Liberia today because of the importance attached to the security and wellbeing of Liberia and the rest of West Africa.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement, said: “On this day, Liberia marks a special independence anniversary, commemorating 175 years of self-rule, with the country being the oldest independent post-colonial African State.”
The presidency explained that President Buhari is the special guest of honour at the celebration and will deliver an address.
“The trip to Liberia comes at a time when political instability and the return of coups-d’état have upended two to three decades of democratic order in the sub-region.
“Liberia, Sierra-Leone along with Nigeria are going into elections in 2023 and President Buhari is expected to emphasise to them the importance of free, fair and credible elections.
“The president is expected to stress the importance of respect for rule of law throughout the sub-region. 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 in the events of tomorrow.”