…We won’t sit on asset recovery, UK MP assures
Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, assured the United Kingdom Prime Minister, Theresa May ,of his commitment to conducting free, fair and credible elections in 2019.
President Buhari gave the assurance during a bilateral meeting with May welcoming UK’s support at strengthening democratic institutions in the country.
Said he, ‘‘I assure you that I’m all out for free, fair and credible elections. I’m very pleased that my party is doing very well.
“The High Commissioner will brief you more. The recent successes in polls in Katsina, Bauchi, and Kogi have boosted our morale greatly.
“Nigeria has accepted multi-party democracy and that is putting politicians on their toes, forcing them to work harder,” he said.
In a statement by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari on the anti-corruption campaign, applauded UK’s support to the country, noting that the success of the fight was very important to ordinary people in the country.
“We had great opportunities and resources between 1999 and 2014, due to high oil prices. But when we came in 2015, oil prices plunged to as low as 37 dollars per barrel.
‘‘What we have been doing since 2015 is to focus on infrastructure development, despite low earnings. Work is ongoing in roads, rail, power, and many others.”
Earlier, in remarks before the bilateral meeting, the Nigerian leader underscored the need for UK support on reviving of Lake Chad, which is a means of livelihood for millions of people.
The President told the visiting Prime Minister that Europe and China were already conducting an in-depth study on recharging the Lake through inter-basin transfer from the Central African Republic.
In her remarks, Prime Minister May, who welcomed the assurance by the Nigerian government on credible elections in 2019, said she was pleased to be in Abuja to continue the ‘‘excellent discussions’’ she started with Buhari particularly on security, trade, asset recovery and the fight against corruption.
‘‘Security and defence cooperation are very important steps to address Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa,’’ May said.
On asset recovery, the Prime Minister told President Buhari: “we do not want to hold anything that belongs to Nigeria people, but we follow the judicial process, which can be slow.”
The Prime Minister appealed to President Buhari to use his position as ECOWAS Chair to keep the issue of human trafficking on the front burner in the sub-region.