From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Gabonese Republic President, Ali Bongo Ondimba, has called for a synergy between Gabon and Nigeria in tackling insecurity, particularly the menace of Boko Haram insurgents.
Ondimba also called for collaboration with Nigeria in fighting insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, most importantly, piracy, and further broadened the relations between both countries.
Ondimba made the call during the presentation of letters of credence by the Nigerian Ambassador/Head of Mission to the Gabonese Republic, Ambassador Raymond Brown.
Ambassador Brown disclosed that Ondimba, having received his letters and exchange of pleasantries, “informed that Nigeria and Gabon have a lot of work to do in the areas of fighting insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea, piracy, fight against terrorism and Boko Haram and further broadened the relations between both countries.”
Ambassador Brown further said Ondimba expressed joy to President Muhammudu Buhari for sending him as his representative in Gabon.
“In response, I informed that I met with the Minister of Foreign, H.E. Pacome MOUBELET BOUBEYA on 15th June, 2021 and discussed the need for both countries to cooperate in the fight against insecurity, increase the flow of free trade, resuscitate the moribund bilateral relations between both countries, and expedite a scheduled Nigerian direct flight to Gabon, considering the huge population of Nigerians in the country and business opportunities. I explained the difficulty our people are faced with when travelling to Nigeria. For a flight of less than an hour to Nigeria, they spend 24hours and reroute either France, Ethiopia or Lome to and from Gabon.”
Ambassador Brown also said in further discussion, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Gabon, affirmed that there was a lot of work to be done.
“He reiterated the need for me to visit the Special Economic Zone, NKOK, where the Gabonese government process their woods for export and solicited for Nigerian companies to take advantage since the Gabonese government has a lot to learn in terms of Nigeria expertise. He also solicited Nigeria’s support in Gabon’s quest to join the Commonwealth of Nations.
“We discussed the need to resuscitate the moribund bilateral relations between both countries and encourage official visits of top government officials in order to tighten the brotherliness both countries shared, which is evident in the relations between President Muhammuda BUHARI and Ali BONGO.
“H.E. Ali Bongo admitted that at the ease of COVID-19 and its effect, many activities are beginning to open up and he would like both countries to work in synergy since they play important roles in their respective regions. He enjoined members of his cabinet to give me maximum support and requested I approached him on any issues that need his attention,” Ambassador Brown said.