The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), had joined the Heads of State and Government of Senegal, Mauritania and Burkina Faso to celebrate the 47th independence of Guinea Bissau at the 24 de Setembro National Stadium, Bissau, calling on all West African countries to ensure security and peace in the subregion.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, on Thursday, quoted the president in a statement titled: ‘President Buhari congratulates Guinea Bissau on 47th independence, pledges Nigeria’s increased support for peace, stability’.
The president stressed the need for member countries to remain committed to realising the vision of the founding fathers of the Economic Community of West African States.
Adesina quoted the President as saying “It is my desire that Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau as well as other member countries of the Economic Community of West African States will continue to provide the impetus in realising the objectives and ideals of its founding fathers and to ensure security, peace and development of our region,’’
Buhari then pledged that Nigeria would continue to assist Guinea-Bissau in every way possible and described a peaceful and prosperous Guinea-Bissau as a win for West Africa and Africa.
The Nigerian President said he was proud of the support Nigeria provided to past electoral processes in the country’s efforts at entrenching democracy and promised to increase such support.
Buhari also boost on Nigeria’s contribution of troops under the auspices of the ECOWAS Mission in Guinea-Bissau noting that the troops played an important role in maintaining peace and security.
The president while congratulating President Umaro Embalo, the government and people of Guinea-Bissau on the 47th anniversary, said it was his hope and prayer that the country and its people would continue to grow in strength and prosperity.
“I feel delighted because this is my first official visit to Guinea-Bissau since my assumption of office in 2015, and because I am here to join you brotherly people of Guinea-Bissau as you celebrate this great day with renewed hope and aspiration.
‘‘I am truly grateful for the warm reception accorded me and my delegation since our arrival in this city.
“As you mark your freedom as a nation ‘free forever’, let me seize this opportunity to salute all Bissau Guineans, both at home as well as in the Diaspora, for the strides you have made as a country.”
Buhari then recounted that on September 10, 1974, Guinea-Bissau declared its independence from Portugal, after a protracted struggle for freedom, which brought Portuguese colonisation to an end.