President Muhammadu Buhari has said that Nigeria’s diversity will remain a source of strength for the development of the country.
He spoke on Thursday in Abuja, while receiving Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, Mr Shimon Ben-Shosan.
President Buhari, also Thursday, congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on their election victory.
This is as he presided over the presided over the Nigerian Police Council meeting and confirmed the appointment of Inspector General of Police, Muhammad Adamu in State House, same Thursday, May 23, 2019.
According to a statement by Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), President Buhari told the new Isreali Envoy to Nigeria that Nigeria and Israel have enjoyed cordial bilateral relations, highlighting that many Nigerian Christians look forward to performing pilgrimage to the Holy Land in Israel.
‘‘I congratulate you on your appointment as Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria. Enjoy your stay in Nigeria and take time to go round to see the beauty and diversity of the country,’’ the President told the Israeli ambassador.
The ambassador congratulated President Buhari on his re-election, thanking the Nigerian government for extending an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister to attend the Democracy Day celebrations on June 12.
‘‘Next year will be 60 years of diplomatic relations between Nigeria and Israel, and the last time a Prime Minister of Israel visited Nigeria was in 1958.
‘‘My dream is to bring my Prime Minister and President to visit Nigeria and for President Buhari to visit Israel. That will be historic for us,’’ Ben-Shoshan said.
President Buhari, who also received the Letters of Credence of the Sierra Leonean High Commissioner to Nigeria, Dr Solomon Gembeh, said both countries have a strong and stable relationship borne out of shared history and decades of cooperation.
President Buhari said he looked forward to continue working with President Julius Maada Bio to further strengthen the relations between both countries, emphasizing that both of them shared a common historical background as former military Heads of State who later became civilian Presidents.
The President lauded the resilience of the Sierra Leonean people in overcoming the tragedy of the 2017 mudslide in the West African country.
The Sierra Leonean High Commissioner thanked Nigeria for its steadfast brotherly support to his country, saying ‘‘during ECOMOG, Nigerian soldiers bled and died for us.
‘‘During the Ebola crisis, the mudslide, you have always been there for us. Nigeria has always been a big brother to us,’’ he said.
Dr Gembeh extended President Bio’s good wishes to President Buhari on his second-term in office, adding that his President is looking forward to attending the Democracy Day Celebrations in Abuja on June 12.
While congratulating Indian Prime Minister Modi and his party on their election victory, President Buhari noted that as Nigeria’s largest trade partner, he appreciates the mutually beneficial Nigeria-India relationship and looks forward to expanding existing cooperation on energy, infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and health.
The President recalled that under Prime Minister Modi, India hosted the successful India-Africa Forum in October 2015 pointing out that Nigeria proudly recognizes India as a strategic development partner on the continent.
The Nigerian leader wished the Indian Prime Minister a successful new term in office that would usher in more prosperity, progress and stability to the people of the world’s largest democracy.