Paschal Emeka, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Nigeria for Liberia to participate in that country’s Special Independence anniversary, as the people commemorate 175 years of self-rule, being the oldest independent post-colonial African state.
Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, in a statement, said President Buhari would deliver an address, adding that “the trip signifies the importance attached to the security and well-being of Liberia and the rest of West Africa.
“The President is expected to stress the importance of the respect for rule of law rule throughout the sub-region. Without rule of law and constitutional rule, there cannot be security, peace and development.
“The trip to Liberia comes at a time when political instability and the return of coups d’état have upended two to three decades of democratic order in the sub-region.
“Liberia, Sierra-Leone along with Nigeria is going into elections in 2023 and President Buhari is expected to emphasize to them the importance of free, fair and credible elections.”
“Peace with security of Liberia (and Sierra-Leone) is important to Nigeria given the enormous investments in men, material and resources expended by this country to secure the two states.
“Without the leadership of Nigeria in the context of ECOWAS to secure these two, there would not have been Liberia on the map in its present configuration today.
“The warmth of the relationship and personal chemistry between President Buhari and George Weah of Liberia is no less significant and will play a key role in the events of tomorrow (today), the statement said.
“Bilaterally, Nigeria and Liberia may bring to the table issues of cross-border terrorism, bolstering defence and trade ties.”