President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to continue to defend the interest of Nigerians wherever they may be as the country ramps up efforts to evacuate citizens stranded after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
A statement by the Special Adviser to the President, Femi Adesina, quoted his principal as making this assertion on Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya at a Townhall Meeting with some Nigerians in the country.
According to the president, “on our part as a Government, we shall continue to defend the interests of all Nigerians wherever they may be. We have demonstrated this over time, as we have had cause to evacuate our citizens in harm’s way abroad.
“We did it in Libya, South Africa and we have just commenced doing the same in Ukraine, where thousands of our citizens, especially students, are trapped by the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.”
President Buhari, who was represented at the event by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama, stated the continuous determination of the current administration to forge a partnership with the ‘Ambassadors-at Large’ towards building the country together that led to the establishment of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM).
Also present at the occasion were the Minister of State for the Environment, Sharon Ikeazor; National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen Babagana Monguno, and Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.
He commended the diasporans in Kenya for being united, and at peace with their host communities, urging them to respect the laws and be good ambassadors of Nigeria. Buhari also expressed delight at the commission’s engagement of the diasporans and the establishment of a programme that would appeal to them.
“We expect your willingness to ‘give back to Nigeria, some of your resources, talents, skills and global exposure in the development of our great country, Nigeria,” he told them.
Buhari encouraged the ambassadors to key into the programmes of NiDCOM especially the Nigerian Diaspora Investment Trust Fund whose mandate is holistic for Nigerians abroad adding that the platform would assist them to expeditiously contribute to the development of their fatherland.