President Muhammadu Buhari says he is doing his best to protect the fundamental human rights of citizens in the country.
The President who received Letters of Credence from the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Ms Mary Leonard, noted that there are no hard feelings in steering the affairs of the country.
“I know that those with access have created an impression of being marginalised,” he was quoted as saying in a statement on Tuesday by his spokesman, Garba Shehu.
President Buhari added, “I sit here with a clear conscience. I took an oath and I am honouring the office.”
He urged the US government to ensure that its sources of information on Nigeria cut across all sectors, saying some people might provide misleading and manipulative narratives for self-serving purposes, ignoring the larger picture of a united country.
The President decried that the recent listing of Nigeria for human rights concerns created an impression that some people were being unfairly treated or marginalised in the country.
He recalled his visit to Washington DC where he met with US President Donald Trump who expressed concern with reports of attacks on segments of the society.
President Buhari disclosed that he took some time to explain the situation in the country to the American leader.
“It is not an easy task to work for the unity of the country, and I am doing my best.
“During your stay in the country I am asking you to ensure that your sources of strategic information cut across,” he told the US diplomat.
The President also asked her to use the opportunity of her posting to Nigeria, with her experience, knowledge and energy to get the facts on the country.
In her remarks, Leonard said Nigeria was listed on a watch list to deepen conversation on the humanitarian situation in the country, accepting that some people could “flare the flames and crystalize issues’’ that could affect peaceful coexistence.
“There are people who make things less attractive than they seem,” she said, noting that the report would deepen conversation of the situation in the country, especially with religious leaders and mediators.
“I want to assure that the United States recognises and celebrates the integration in Nigeria,” the US envoy said, adding that her country would always side with transparent processes.
She noted that Nigeria and America have a lot in common in terms of “being big among neighbours, enthusiastic and entrepreneurial”.
Leonard also assured President Buhari of support from the United States, especially on the humanitarian challenges and commended the willingness to always share useful information and intelligence with her country.
“I feel it’s a privilege and great honour to be here; coming to see the giant of Africa.
“I have worked for 30 decades before coming to Nigeria. We will do a lot together for peace, security and delivering humanitarian assistance,” she added.