A few crucial meetings that took place after the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday suggest that there is a new dawn in the country’s diplomatic relations.
The British Prime Minister, David Cameron urged President Buhari to come before the “G 7” industrialized nations with a “wish list” when he shows up at its meeting, scheduled for June 7-9 in Berlin, Germany.
Delivering this message to the new President, British Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Philip Hammond said his Prime Minister had requested for a list of what Nigeria wanted to help succeed against the current challenges facing the country.
“We are waiting for your own list,” said the minister on behalf of Cameron.
This meeting was a follow-up to an earlier one between the then President-elect and Prime minister Cameron, at which commitments were given to the in-coming administration in several areas, including the fight against terrorism, power and energy and such matters of common concerns of migration challenges facing the continent as well what he called “intelligence fusion” to secure Africa from global terror.
He also raised the issue of “free trade” between the EU and Africa, a proposal he said enjoyed the support of several countries on the continent and in support of which he sought to enlist the backing of President Buhari.
The President in turn promised to prepare the government’s aspirations for the summit which he said he will attend.
Mr. Han Changfu, the leader of the Chinese delegation, who is that country’s Minister of Agriculture at a similar meeting, asked President Buhari to open avenues for Chinese investments in Nigeria.
China promised to help Nigeria out in several areas including agriculture, power, railways and other infrastructure.
The President of Congo Brazaville, Dennis Sassou Nguesso was also among the several leaders who had audiences with the President after the inauguration on Friday.
The Congolese leader said he had been mandated by other leaders in Central Africa to seek a meeting with their counterparts in the ECOWAS with a view to tackling common challenges especially the one posed by terrorism. Nguesso also requested President Buhari to assume his rightful place as the leader of Africa.
President Buhari agreed that the meeting holds before the nest African Union in South Africa as suggested.
The current Somali president Sheikh Hassan Mohamoud asked for Nigeria’s help in its bid to conquer terror and establish control over the country’s territory.
Speaking while receiving Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa, President Buhari expressed his wish to work with Zuma to fight terrorism in Africa and outside the continent.
The two leaders agreed to come to meet and exchange state visits to deepen the existing bilateral relationships.