President Muhammdu Buhari has urged African leaders to rise up and work together in ensuring nations undergoing crisis, including Cameroon and Ethiopia in the region remain united and resolutely indivisible despite their current challenges.
He explained that it had become imperative for the leaders to reflect on the instability rocking Ethiopia, Cameroon, and other facing crisis and appealed to parties and factions in the countries to come together in halting their nation’s march to civil war, save their people from deprivations of conflict.
On his part, the president pledged that Nigeria would offer the best support possible to ensure that the Republic of Cameroon, Ethiopia, others remain indivisible countries.
Buhari made the pledge on Tuesday at State House, Abuja, while receiving a Special Envoy from President Paul Biya of Cameroon, Felix Mbayu. Buhari said that Nigeria and Cameroon share historical ties and common borders, which make it imperative for the two countries to look out for each other’s well-being.
According to him, that was why when I first came to office in 2015, I immediately visited all our neighbours because we are very clear about the value of good neighbourliness.
“You will have problems if your neighbours are not cultivated. And our relationship with Cameroon had been very clear since when I was serving in the military. The country offered us needed support during our Civil War,” the President said.
Saying Nigeria was acutely aware of the separatist agitation by the Ambazonian movement, Buhari submitted that it was in the interest of Nigeria “to ensure that Cameroon was stable, and we will be steadfast in our support for you.”
While speaking, Mbayu, who is also Minister Delegate in Charge of Cooperation with the Commonwealth, said that president Biya was happy with the role Nigeria was playing in Africa, noting that the two neighbours share not just borders and historical ties, “but also common challenges.” “These challenges border on security especially, and it is incumbent on us both to find common solutions,” he added.
The special envoy said that Biya looked forward to a situation in which Nigerian territory would not be available for the Ambazonian movement to destabilize Cameroon, “as some people are taking advantage of some crises in the two English speaking parts of Cameroon to break the country apart.”
Meanwhile, Buhari also congratulated the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed, over the decisive victory won by his party in the just-concluded parliamentary elections, returning him to office for another five years.
Reacting to the outcome of the elections as announced over the weekend, the president commended the Ethiopian leader on his courage and commitment to the democratic process and urged him to continue with the good policies of his government that endeared him to the people.
Buhari assured the Ethiopian leader that Nigeria would continue to support the unity and territorial well-being of his country and of all African States.
He lamented that instability in one part of Africa is a threat to stability elsewhere: “Instability is a grave threat to African progress. African countries cannot attain their development goals if every group resorts to violence and destabilisation instead of seeking peaceful resolution of conflicts through dialogue.”