Despite growing insecurity and terrorists’ threats to abduct him Governor Nasir El-rufai of Kaduna State, President Muhammadu Buhari, will on Tuesday depart Abuja for Monrovia, Liberia to deliver lecture on West Africa’s security.
The president is also expected to discuss topics such as free and fair elections and respect for rule of law in the continent.
This was disclosed on Monday evening by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement titled ‘The significance of President Buhari’s visit to Liberia.’
Liberia will be celebrating its 175 years of independence, and will stand as the oldest independent African State.
The president will join other African leaders as Liberia marks the special anniversary.
The Nigerian president, who campaigned on the key issue of security has been unable to arrest the incident of kidnapping, terrorist attacks and general state of insecurity since 2015 when he came to power.
On Sunday, terrorists released a video saying the president and Gov El-Rufai would soon be kidnapped and another showing the terrorists flogging abducted train passengers for lack of ransom.
Two weeks ago, the only prison located in the capital of the country, the Kuje Correctional Center, Abuja, came under heavy bombardment, leading to the escape of about 150 Boko Haram terrorists that were in prison. Over 1000 inmates reportedly escaped from the facility.
Shehu, however said the president’s “ trip signifies the importance attached to the security and wellbeing of Liberia and the rest of West Africa.”
Significantly, the statement said, “On this day, Liberia marks a Special Independence anniversary, commemorating 175 years of self-rule, with the country being the oldest independent post-colonial African State.
“President Buhari is the Special Guest of Honour at the celebration and will deliver an address. 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 are going into elections in 2023 and President Buhari is expected to emphasize to them the importance of free, fair and credible elections.”
The President’s trip, the statement said is necessary because “Peace and 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 a Liberia on the map in its present configuration today.
“Bilaterally, Nigeria and Liberia may bring to the table issues of cross-border terrorism, bolstering defense and trade ties.
“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.”