•Says only strong political institutions can guarantee stability
By Lawrence Olaoye
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the era of military coups and governments are over worldwide even as he called for respect to constitutional provisions in Gabon.
A military coup initiated by some junior military officers to overthrow President Ali Bngo, currently recuperating in Morocco, was foiled in the oil-rich West-Central African state on Monday.
Officials of the Gabonese presidency on Monday evening announced that loyal security forces to the ailing President stormed the radio station in the capital, Libreville, to take it back, killing two rebel troops, arresting their leader and freeing journalists who had been forced to help rebels make their appeal.
Responding to the development, Buhari, in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, said: “The military officers in Gabon should understand that the era of military coups and governments in Africa and indeed worldwide, is long gone.
“Democracy is supreme and the constitutional stipulations on the peaceful change of administration must be respected. That is the only way we can ensure peace and stability not only within the country but also in the region.”
Buhari, who also doubles as the ECOWAS Chairman, urged military officers with political ambitions to resign or face their constitutional role.
He also enjoined the people of Gabon to remain on the side of peace, security, stability and democracy in their country.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has told his counterparts in Africa to support processes that will ensure stronger political institutions across the continent, insisting only strong political institutions will guarantee stability, peace and economic progress.
Receiving Letters of Credence from the Ambassador of the Republic of Guinea, Siaka Cissoko, at the Presidential Villa, Buhari said political reforms in African countries can only be sustainable when they reflect the will of the people, and work towards improving their lives.
In another statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, Buhari said “I congratulate your President for the progress he is making politically and economically in Guinea. Nigeria will be most willing to render support for your forthcoming elections, where it is needed.’’
He urged the Ambassador to work towards improving the bilateral relations between both countries, with focus on exchange of ideas and manpower for the exploration of mineral resources in Guinea.
“I believe we are cooperating well at the sub-regional and continental level for political stability. And I hope your country plans to develop its mineral resources in partnership with its neighbours. Nigeria already has lots of experience in gas exploration and pipeline construction; and we can support your government,’’ he
In his remarks, the Ambassador of Guinea noted that President Alfa Conde is in full solidarity with President Buhari, who had been championing reforms in ECOWAS and the African Union.
“My President, your brother, has mandated me to convey his greetings and similarly mandated me to strengthen the bilateral relations by pooling resources together for the development of our countries,’’ he said.
Receiving Letters of Credence from the High Commissioner of the Republic of Kenya to Nigeria, Dr Wilfred Gisuka Machage, President Buhari said he was happy with the political maturity that trailed the conclusion of the elections in that country.
“I have written him formally to congratulate him for winning the elections. I am happy he has settled down to work,’’ the President noted.
Machage assured President Buhari that he will pursue all the details of discussions and agreements between both countries, especially on promotion of agriculture.
He congratulated the Ambassador of Poland to Nigeria, Joanna Magdalena Tarnawska, while receiving her Letters of Credence. He urged her to work towards improving the close ties between both countries.
The President, who visited Poland in December, said he was delighted
with the outcome of COP24 in Katowice and recounted his visit to
Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, in Oświęcim, Poland.
In her remarks, the Ambassador of Poland noted that she will prioritize on improving relations, particularly on trade and commerce, and defence and security.
“Mr. President, I am wishing you and the entire country peaceful elections, prosperity and stability,’’ she added.