President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Ethiopian leader to stay focused on keeping the country together in spite of the difficulties.
He spoke Sunday during a meeting with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed at the Headquarters of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Buhari said Nigeria would continue to support efforts in peaceful co-existence and unity.
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He commended the efforts of the Prime Minister in maintaining peace and unity in the country, and dedication to ensuring fairness and justice in development.
“You are leading a country that is large and diversified, just like Nigeria, and I know the sacrifices required to make desired impact, especially in maintaining peace,” the President said.
Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, said Ahmed had provided strong leadership for the country, encouraging him to sustain the good work in ensuring even development.
The Prime Minister thanked Buhari for the support to the country over the years on national and personal endeavours, particularly in encouraging unity and stability. Ahmed said the African continent had been slow in growth due to conflicts, adding that the larger economies, like Nigeria and Ethiopia, should provide the leadership that will deepen progress and prosperity on the continent.
He said the resurgence of coups on the continent could further weaken institutions and reverse the gains of democracy, appreciating Buhari for his position on zero tolerance for military interference in governance.
Ahmed said collective and visionary leadership would move Africa forward.
Both leaders at the meeting agreed that African growth and development would require strong, visionary leadership that catered for the needs of the people, and strengthened institutions that encouraged peaceful co-existence, while providing disincentives to conflicts and coups.