By Our Correspondent
Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed that his administration is fully determined to combat and defeat all acts of criminality, banditry and terrorism in the country.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, said the president was speaking at a meeting with the Executive Committee members of the Nigerian Community in Ethiopia, NICE, in Addis Ababa.
Buhari appealed to all Nigerians to support and cooperate with security agencies who were ready to defend and preserve the unity of the country.
The meeting, moderated by Chairman/CEO of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, NiDCOM, Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, observed a minute silence in honour of Nigerians brutally killed by Boko Haram terrorists on Monday in Borno.
Buhari also assured Nigerians, at home and abroad, that their protection would continue to remain a key priority of his administration, in addition to the war against corruption and economic growth.
On economic matters and doing business in Ethiopia, the Nigerian leader said he had been briefed on the challenges faced by some Nigerian companies with investments in the country, especially the Dangote Group and Lubcon.
”I have directed the relevant ministries to take up these issue with a view to resolving all complaints amicably with the Ethiopian authorities,” he said.
On the issue of Diaspora voting, the President while responding to a request by the leader of NICE, David Omozuafoh, said he was in support of it, but legislation was required to make it a reality.
”I have said it severally that I am not against it. However, you will need to convince National Assembly to amend the relevant laws to make Diaspora voting a reality,” he said.
On the conduct of Nigerians living in the Diaspora, the President expressed concern that some of their actions had not projected the country in good light, urging them to change their ways and obey the laws of their countries of residence.
He, however, commended Nigerians in Ethiopia, noting that they had the highest concentration of professionals working in international organisations such as the African Union, United Nations agencies.
”This is a correct representation of the Nigerian spirit of excellence and high achievement,” he stressed.
Buhari told the meeting that his government was committed to supporting and protecting all law-abiding Nigerians, at home and abroad, to prosper, urging all in the Diaspora to help achieve this by being good citizens and worthy ambassadors of Nigeria.
The President also encouraged them to be the best in all their legitimate engagements in their host country, saying that, ”while you are out in the Diaspora, do not forget home as you represent some of the best human assets that Nigeria possesses.”
He, therefore, urged them to use their resources, skills and talents to help the development of Nigeria.
In his remarks at the meeting, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU, Bankole Adeoye, extolled the huge investments of the Federal Government of Nigeria in Ethiopia since independence through the Embassy.
He described the Nigerian Embassy in Addis Ababa as one of the Nigerian missions in the whole of Africa with the largest diplomatic and residential premises.