Nigeria, Liberia to ensure smooth conduct of elections in five African countries

VISIT 5

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in Abuja said Nigeria would partner Liberia in ensuring the conduct of free and fair elections in five African countries in 2016.

Buhari made this known at a joint news conference with President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia after a closed door bilateral talks between the two presidents.

He disclosed that during their bilateral meeting, they discussed how Nigeria and Liberia could support and assist those countries scheduled to conduct general elections in their respective country this year.

Buhari, who noted that five presidential elections were conducted in the sub-region in 2015, expressed the hope that the forthcoming elections in the affected countries would be successful.

“Security is very important, but we had five elections including our own last year in the sub-region.

“This year we are going to have five (elections) and we hope that we will work together and make sure that the elections are successful.

“We are going to have the one in Benin, Niger, and I think Ghana, and two other countries.

“What affects any of the country of the regions affects all of us.

“So, it is in our own interest to discuss and see how we can support individual countries with the elections that are coming.”

The President reassured that Nigeria in collaboration with other members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission would continue to check the activities of terrorists and criminals operating across the West African sub-region.

Buhari expressed satisfaction with the progress so far recorded by the Sirleaf-led administration and assured that Nigeria would continue to do its best in ensuring socio-political stability in Liberia.

He said Nigeria would jointly embark on rehabilitation of the ailing industries in order to get the economies of the two countries back on track.

In her remarks, Sirleaf expressed her country’s appreciation to Nigeria for the technical and financial support offered to her country.

She, particularly, cited Nigeria’s intervention in Liberia during the outbreak of Ebola virus, saying the medical assistance received by her country from Nigeria contributed immensely in checking the spread of the disease.

President Sirleaf also renewed the strong bond of friendship which had been existing between Nigeria and Liberia.

“I am extremely pleased to have the opportunity to come back to Abuja – this time, to be able to meet with President Buhari.

“First of all, to repeat once again, Liberia’s appreciation for the support that we have had for many, many years – support that has brought us peace, and enabled us to start the processes of reconstruction.

“Most recently when we had the difficulties of the disease of Ebola Nigeria stood by Liberia.

“So, I came to convey those thanks. I came renew the strong bond of friendship between our two countries.”

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