I will give Nigeria a free and fair election – Buhari

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari says he understands the yearnings of Nigerians, assuring that all will be done to ensure that results of 2019 elections reflect the will of the people.’’

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The president stated this when he received Letter of Credence from Ambassador of Finland to Nigeria, Dr Jyrki Juhani Pulkkinen, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He also said he believed in the collective dream for a greater country.

Buhari said Nigerians reserved the right to elect leaders at various levels in 2019, adding that all efforts would be made to safeguard the integrity of the elect oral process.

The president said: “I respect the people’s feelings. I assure all that we will have a free and fair election next year.’’

He congratulated Finland on its 101 independence anniversary, Dec. 6, 2018 and commended the

growing relations between Nigeria and Finland, especially in areas of Information Communication Technology (ICT), trade and education.

In his remarks, the Ambassador called for extension of the relations between the two countries for mutual benefits.

He suggested that the extension could be in the area of electricity, smart technology and crises management initiatives.

He promised to work hard to improve the trade figures and exchanges.

“We will like to contribute to Africa rising, and we know that Nigeria is the biggest country on the continent, so we are very interested in the growth of Nigeria,’’ he said.

At the level of the United Nations, Pulkkinen said his country would continue to support the restructuring of the multilateral institution to give greater roles to African countries like Nigeria.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the President also received Letter of Credence from Ambassador of France, Mr Jerome Pasquier.

He said at the occasion that French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, and the stopover in Lagos, was really impressive in bolstering both countries’ relations.

The President also said he was impressed with relations between France and its former colonies in Africa, noting that France had continued to play positive roles in promoting security and economic growth in the countries.

“France is investing so much in Nigeria and we are grateful,’’ he said.

The President, however, called for more support in the fight against terrorism,noting that the networks kept expanding with fighters moving across borders to support insurgents.

Responding, France Ambassador said President Macron would continue to support Nigeria, especially in the ongoing war against terrorism, with specific interest in gathering and sharing of intelligence.

He commended Buhari for Nigeria’s role in resolving the crisis in Togo and Guinea Bissau.

Buhari also received Letter of Credence from the Ambassador of Czech Republic, Mr Marek Skolil, assuring him of improved economic relations in areas such as solid mineral exploration.

Mr Skolil said his country would continue to support Nigerian military in the fight against terrorism in the North-East.

“Nigeria is a very important country for us. We look forward to stronger ties, particularly with the armed forces,’’ he said.

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