President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the international community of his resolve to build a stable and prosperous Nigeria that is inclusive of all its diverse peoples and at ease with itself.
The President was speaking on Thursday at a reception for members of the Diplomatic Corps in the Presidential Villa.
In his speech, which centered on insecurity and fight against corruption, he said: “As so long as corruption holds centre stage in the affairs of Nigeria, the country will continue to suffer incalculable harm.
“Mindful of this, it has become necessary to wage a relentless war against the cancer of corruption”.
On the war on terror in the northeast, President Buhari said the Boko Haram holds no territory in Nigeria.
“When I assumed office on May 29, 2015, Boko Haram had full control of 14 local government areas in the northeast, but today, the group holds no territory in Nigeria.
“We are quite aware that the war on terror will not and cannot be won by military means alone. we need a soft approach that speaks directly to the human mind,” he stated.
President Buhari thanked the international community for their support in the fight against Boko Haram, promising to end hunger and poverty in Nigeria which he observed are largely responsible for the indoctrination and co-option into violent extremism.
“Poverty and hunger will not only incapacitate, but they can lead to desperation.”
The Nigerian leader said that as a democrat, he would leave no stone unturned in the effort to rid Nigeria of corruption within the ambit of the law.
“I must, however, add that in doing this, we shall operate within the ambit of the law,” the President stressed.
The meeting with the Diplomatic Corps is an annual event, where the President of Nigeria interacts with the different countries’ envoys. It is usually characterised by a massive turnout.
PRIDE OF AFRICA
The relaxed atmosphere provided the President an opportunity to let the international community know what he had done in the last eight months of his administration.
President Buhari began his speech with focus on the war against Boko Haram and on what he is doing to curtail poverty and hunger which he had said dragged people into violence.
On the war against corruption, the president said he would fight it as a committed democrat.
He reiterated that Nigeria would remain committed to its international obligations.
The Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and the Cameroonian Ambassador to Nigeria, Salladeen Abbas, said they had confidence in the Nigerian President.
“We are happy to notice that your action is now yielding fruitful results. Mr President, rest assured that the international community will continue to provide full support to Nigeria efforts.,” Mr Abbas stated, speaking on behalf of other Diplomatic Corps.
Nigeria’s challenges may be enormous, ranging from increasing inflation and drop in the value of the Naira against the dollar to insecurity, but the President said he would give Nigeria the image that would be the pride of Africa and the rest of the world.