Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said a peaceful Libya will help the overall development of Africa a great deal.
He also noted that as a strong member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a peaceful Libya will also help stabilise the oil industry.
Buhari said this when he received Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of Libya, Ayad Musbah Faraj Attayary, at the State House, Abuja.
To Nigeria’s president, early restoration of peace and stability in the country will greatly minimise the current state of insecurity experienced in some parts of Africa.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement quoted Buhari as saying: “Our efforts should be directed towards the restoration of peace. It is expedient that peace and stability return to Libya as soon as possible; peace in Libya will translate to economic prosperity and development as well as a more secure Africa.”
The president expressed the believe that with more commitment from all parties in the conflict and other well-meaning individuals, Libya “will soon be back as it was so that it can resume its roles in Africa.”
The Ambassador, who conveyed the greetings of the Prime Minister of Libya, said his country was counting on Nigeria to use its position in Africa to help his country return to normalcy.
He praised President Buhari for consolidating Nigeria’s leadership role in Africa through its intervention activities.
Also receiving Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of Venezuela to Nigeria, Davies Nieves Velasquez, President Buhari congratulated President Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela for his commitment to democracy and leadership.
The Ambassador expressed appreciation to President Buhari for his show of support and solidarity to the Government of Venezuela at this time and expressed the need to take bilateral cooperation between the two countries to the next level. He expressed belief that the ties could be stronger especially in the fields of education and health. He extended the invitation of his president to President Buhari to visit Venezuela.
In his remarks, while presenting his Letters of Credence to the President, the Ambassador of Myanmar to Nigeria, Myint Swe, said his country highly respects the position of Nigeria as the giant of Africa and also shares similarities with Nigeria in the diversity of ethnic groups.
He stated his determination to use his tenure as Ambassador to strengthen trade relations especially in the areas of wild life, natural resources and water resources: “my time will see the growth in relations between our countries.”
In a related development, President Buhari has explained that Nigeria could not afford to look the other way following the devastation that accompanied Cyclone Idai, which ravaged Zimbabwe earlier this year.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, in a statement said Buhari who described the devastation as enormous said Nigeria just had to offer a helping hand.
President Buhari disclosed this on Thursday at State House, Abuja, while receiving in farewell audience the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Nigeria, Lovemore Mazemo.
“It was a major disaster, and it caused damage in billions of dollars. Nigeria, despite our own challenges, had to provide aid to ameliorate the situation,” he said, adding that he was glad that the outgoing Ambassador and his country appreciated the hand of fellowship.
Cyclone Idai ravaged Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi, and is believed to be the costliest natural disaster in South-West Indian Ocean basin. Goods and properties estimated at two billion dollars were lost.
President Buhari also recalled the role Nigeria played to secure the Independence of Zimbabwe from apartheid minority rule: “We remain proud of what Nigeria did in those days.”
Ambassador Mazemo, who spent four-and-a-half years in Nigeria, said he found a home in the country “and a family among your wonderful people.”
He further noted that assistance given by Nigeria after the cyclone “went a long way to relieve our people,” adding that the relationship between the two countries had improved tremendously in recent years.
The Ambassador congratulated President Buhari on the confidence reposed in him by his people, making them to elect him twice, and equally lauded him for the leadership he has provided for Africa in the war against corruption.