From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
President Muhammadu Buhari and his Ivorian counterpart, Alassane Ouattara, have expressed concern that political instability in Togo, if not nipped in the bud, could have regional consequences.
Both leaders made this observation during a bilateral meeting in Abidjan, on the margins of the fifth African Union-European Union AU-EU Summit, in Abidjan Côte d’Ivoire.
“We must have a solution in Togo. Friends of the opposition and authorities must talk to them, on the steps to jointly take to achieve stability. They must work towards gaining the trust of each other. There will be regional consequences for instability in Togo and this will surely come at a cost to development,” he said.
Buhari also had a separate bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel where the issue of stemming the tide of illegal migration of Nigerians to Europe took the front burner. The two leaders agreed to strengthen legal migration and made a commitment to expand discussions on how to stem the tide of illegal migration.
On security, president Buhari told Merkel his government’s commitment to the security of lives and property in Nigeria remains absolute.
Reaffirming the nexus between security and job-creation in Nigeria, President Buhari said prompt attention is being given to the gainful employment of youths in Nigeria through education and the acquisition of skills and vocational training.
In her remarks, the German chancellor appreciated Buhari’s administration’s strides in revamping the economy and promised to increase support for Nigeria, in dealing with terrorism.
Merkel said 58 German companies are operating in Nigeria, and added that more companies have indicated interest to invest in the energy, manufacturing, agriculture and construction sectors.