President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday described ethnicity and corruption as a lethal combination that is inimical to national development.
He said any nation where the two are prevalent would continue to witness instability.
According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke while receiving South Sudan’s First Vice President, Dr Riek Machar, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“Ethnicity and corruption are a lethal combination. You have to deal with them otherwise instability will continue,” Buhari warned after receiving a briefing from Machar on the current state of affairs in South Sudan.
The President pledged that he and other members of the African Union High-Level Consultative Committee on South Sudan will do their best utmost to ensure that the peace agreement signed by the various political factions in the country is successfully implemented.
He assured his guest that Nigeria and the committee would work with all stakeholders to overcome problems hindering the implementation of the seven-month old agreement.
“The situation must not deteriorate,” the President told the First Vice President who is a signatory to the peace agreement.
Expressing concern that compliance with the agreed ceasefire in South Sudan has not been total, Buhari said Nigeria will work in collaboration with other members of the AU to achieve a speedy stabilisation of the situation.
The President advised leaders of South Sudan not to allow ethnicity and corruption to gain a foothold in the new country.
Also on Thursday, Buhari received a Special envoy of the AU Chairman, President Idris Deby-Itno.
The special envoy, Mr. Abubakar Chahaimi, delivered a message from Deby to Buhari on the strengthening of bilateral relations between Nigeria and Chad, as well as the work of the African Union Consultative Committee on South Sudan.