BusinessDay

I’ll work to restore Nigeria’s preeminent role in West African sub-region – Atiku

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 general election and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has reaffirmed his commitment to restore Nigeria’s leadership role in regional security and development.

Atiku gave the assurance on Thursday when he and his delegation that included the Governor of Delta State and the PDP Vice Presidential candidate, Ifeanyi Okowa and PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu met with the 19 Ambassadors of the European countries and the Ambassador of the EU Mission in Nigeria in Abuja.

The former Vice President, while bemoaning that policies of the last seven years, such as the locking up of the borders, have eroded the gains of the foreign policy that was pursued by the previous PDP administrations, said that under his watch, regional security and collaboration would be strengthened.

Atiku told the diplomats that his cardinal foreign policy was a cordial relationship with all countries and blocs with West Africa and Africa being the centre of his foreign policy.

He said that the crisis points in the sub-region, are similar, largely fuelled by lack of development, will require him working with all the countries to bring peace back to the region, and cannot be addressed in isolation.

Atiku and EU
The European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Her Excellency Samuela Isopi, conducting the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar and his running mate and Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa round the EU secretariat in Abuja when Atiku and his team paid a courtesy visit on Thursday

Read also: Atiku mocks APC: “We need to bake a bigger cake and not bigger debts”

He recalled the enviable role that Nigeria played during the Obasanjo and preceding administrations that saw the country providing support and leading the initiatives to restore peace and stability in the region.

He said that his desires were that Nigeria and EU developed strong partnership in strengthening democracy and mutual benefit of both economies.

He used the opportunity of the meeting to share his vision of a greater Nigeria and gave the diplomats an insight into his socio-economic and political agenda for Nigeria.

On its part, the EU assured of technical support to Nigeria, especially to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the observation and monitoring of the 2023 general election.