By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday said that in democracy, citizens should be respected and that people who do the right things do themselves a favour.
President Buhari, who stated this while receiving President of the Republic of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, who was on a courtesy visit, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, said: “We cannot stop educating people that they are doing themselves a lot of favour when they do the right things in a democracy,
“The future of our countries lies in our hands. We must respect our people, and appreciate their support. And when people do the right things, they do themselves a lot of favour.”
The President in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, recalled that Nigeria played a key role in ousting former President Yahya Jammeh, who had refused to accept results of an election he lost in 2016, and President Buhari said it was the least the country could do, in leading an ECOWAS onslaught against the sit-tight President.
He said: “I was in The 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.”
As The Gambia goes to the polls next year, the President pledged Nigeria’s support in different ways possible.
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 the office in 2017.
“You have given us technical support in the Ministry of Education, in the Ministry of Justice, and in many other areas. We are grateful,” the Gambian President tells Buhari.
He disclosed 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 stabilizing force, “as things would have been very difficult for us without the invaluable support you gave.”