Peace in Libya good for Africa ― Buhari

•Explains Nigeria’s assistance to Zimbabwe after cyclone

President Muhammadu Buhari has observed that a peaceful Libya will help the overall development of Africa.

He made the declaration when he received Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of Libya, Ayad Musbah Faraj Attayary, at the State House, Abuja, on Thursday.

The President said that early restoration of peace and stability in the country will greatly minimise the current state of insecurity experienced in some parts of Africa.

“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,” he said.

President Buhari also told the Ambassador that, as a strong member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), a peaceful Libya will also help stabilise the oil industry. He expressed the belief that with more commitment from all parties in the conflict and other well-meaning individuals,  the North African country “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 for 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 the 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 shares similarities with Nigeria in the diversity of ethnic groups.

He stated determination to use his tenure as Ambassador to strengthen trade relations especially in the areas of wildlife, natural resources and water resources; “my time will see the growth in relations between our countries,” he said.

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Also receiving in farewell audience the Ambassador of Zimbabwe to Nigeria, His Excellency, Lovemore Mazemo, President Buhari explained that the devastation that accompanied Cyclone Idai, which ravaged Zimbabwe earlier this year, was so enormous that Nigeria could not afford to look the other way, and had to offer a helping hand.

He said: “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,”  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, noting: “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 here, “and a family among your wonderful people.”

Saying that assistance was given by Nigeria after the cyclone “went a long way to relieve our people,” he added that 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.

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