By Terhemba Daka, Njadvara Musa and Eric Meya
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday pledged Nigeria’s continued partnership with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in checking criminal activities and ensuring stability within the sub-region.
He told the Ambassador of Guinea Bissau, Mr. Henrique Andriano Da Silva, who presented his letter of credence, that: “ECOWAS is doing its best, and as you know, Nigeria is fully involved in the process of restoring stability in Guinea Bissau.”
A statement after the meeting with the Guinean ambassador by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said the relationship between Nigeria and Guinea Bissau has always been healthy, noting that as the country regains its stability, there would be more room for improvement.
The President, who also received the letter of credence from the Ambassador of Thailand, Mr. Wattana Kunwongse, said both nations had a lot to share in ongoing efforts to diversify the economy, with focus on agriculture.
“Our relationship has been very long and very commendable. We appreciate the help we get in agriculture from Thailand and we will keep working together,” he stated.
The Guinea Bissau envoy said his country remained grateful to Nigeria for the support it got during its protracted political quagmire.
“We are very grateful for your commitment to ensure peace in Guinea Bissau and your soldiers have been in our country to ensure stability,” he remarked.
The diplomat noted Nigeria’s position as a “regional power puts it in the spotlight for the recovery and stability of Africa.
“Under your leadership and guidance, we believe the economy will recover and the entire country will be strengthened.”
However, the insurgency in the North East had reportedly stalled the completion of N33.22 billion road and constituency projects in Borno State.
The 593-kilometre Kano-Maiduguri dualisation highway, awarded in 2005, was allegedly halted at Mainok village.
Senator Babakaka Bashir Garbai (Borno Central) dropped the hint yesterday to newsmen in Abuja.
According to him, insecurity had also stalled the completion of roads, agricultural projects, including the perimetre fencing of University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), awarded at N2.6 billion.
His words: “The N280 million skills acquisition, education and water supply constituency projects in Jere and Maiduguri Metropolitan Councils (MMCs) are to be completed in June.
“Boko Haram insurgency and insecurity to lives and property of contractors and engineers handling the awarded projects have stalled the completion of my constituency projects in Borno Central senatorial District.”
Also yesterday, the Sokoto State Police Command has refuted the alleged death of a Syrian national and manager of a constitution company, Abdul Najir, reported by online media. He was abducted on Tuesday by unknown gunmen at Bodinga, 20 kilometres from the capital city.
The police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Cordelia Nwawe, said that the reports were untrue, adding that the captive was still alive.
Refusing to confirm if the abductors had established contact with the family, She, however, stated that CP Murtala Usman Mani had deployed tactical teams to ensure his safe return.