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President Muhammadu Buhari has emphasised the need for leaders to value their citizens, adding that their support must also not be taken for granted.

The President spoke yesterday at State House, Abuja, while receiving President of the Republic of The Gambia, Adama Barrow.

 

President Buhari, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, also noted that it is in the best interest of the citizenry to always opt to do the right thing in a democracy.

“The future of our countries lie in our hands. We must respect our people, and appreciate their support. And when the people do the right things, they do themselves a lot of favour,” President Buhari said.

 

Nigeria played a key role in ousting former President Yahya Jammeh, who had refused to accept results of election he lost in 2016.

Reacting to Nigeria’s role in the process that eventually got Jammeh to leave, President Buhari said it was the least the country could do in leading an ECOWAS onslaught against the sit-tight President.
“I was in Gambia physically at least two times,” President Buhari recalled, adding: “It was the least we could do to stabilise the region.

 

We’ve accepted multi-party democracy, and we must comply with its tenets.
“By supporting you, we were supporting ECOWAS. We are dealing with our own troubles here, but we will continue to support you bilaterally, and through ECOWAS,” he said.
Meanwhile, as The Gambia goes to the polls next year, the President pledged Nigeria’s support in different ways possible.

 

Speaking during the reception, President Barrow said his visit was actually to say thank you to Nigeria once again for its multifarious helps, noting that the support had been unflinching since he got to office in 2017.

“You have given us technical support in the Ministry of Education, in Ministry of Justice, and in many other areas. We are grateful,” the Gambian President said.

He added that The Gambia was recovering from 22 years of dictatorship, security problems, lack of infrastructure and a parlous economy. A Truth and Reconciliation Commission was also sitting, to redress injustices of the past, and heal the injuries.

Going forward, President Barrow said his country still needed Nigeria’s stabilising force, “as things would have been very difficult for us without the invaluable support you gave.”

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