The Presidency on Thursday said Nigeria’s ties with Niger, Benin, Chad, and Cameroon are yielding positive results.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said this in Niamey, the capital of the Republic of Niger shortly after President Muhammadu Buhari commissioned a major road named after him.
He expressed satisfaction with the existing bilateral relationship between Nigeria and its neigbhours.
The presidential spokesman said the ties had helped tremendously, especially in the areas of tackling border insecurity, illegal arms import, and smuggling.
He said President Buhari on assumption of office in 2015, opened up strong dialogue with neighbouring Niger, Benin, Chad, and Cameroon, an approach, which had resulted in positive diplomatic ties of mutual interest to both countries.
“President Buhari has strong respect for our neighbours, and he understands the essence of neigbourliness. Before this administration, some of these countries complained that they were not even being talked to by Nigerian leadership,” Shehu said.
He explained that, “we have opened up dialogue with them and it is paying off. We are partnering with them on essential matters, especially on security, tackling smuggling, and importation of illegal weapons, so the partnership is complete.”
According to him, President Buhari will leave behind on 29 May, 2023, a solid relationship, built on a solid rock with Nigeria’s neighbours and expected to be built upon by his successor.
Shehu, who justified the naming of a road after President Buhari in Niger, said the development was an indication of the tremendous respect which Nigeria’s neighbours had towards him.
President of Niger Republic Mohammed Bazoun who was accompanied by the Mayor of Niamey and other officials took President
Buhari on a tour of the 3.8 kilometer boulevard commissioned in line with the country’s constitutional provisions.
Buhari is in Niamey to join other leaders in the continent for the African Union (AU) summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification.