PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has received the highest national honour of Equatorial Guinea. Buhari was conferred with the honour of “Gran Collar De La Orden De La Independencia,” for his personal integrity and dogged fight against terrorism, in Malabo, on Monday, March 14. According to a statement by Femi Adesina, media aide to the president, the honour was given for Buhari’s personal integrity, exemplary leadership style and courage to fight terrorism in order to ensure peace and safety in Africa.
The honour of “Gran Collar De La Orden De La Independencia” translated “Grand Collar of the Order of the Independence” was conferred on Buhari by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea at the Presidential Palace. At the investiture ceremony, President Buhari said the recognition was for the people of Nigeria who had worked tirelessly to sustain peace in the country and across other neighbouring countries in Africa.
“On behalf of my country, Nigeria, and the people, I will like to express profound gratitude for the honour given to me and my people. The reality of the situation now is that there had never been a time in history for greater neighbourliness, for security and economic stability than now,” he said.
He said the honour conferred on him was an honour for Nigeria. The president said the challenges faced by African countries had a common thread, and must be collectively appraised and jointly tackled by all the African countries. Buhari assured that Nigeria would always support efforts of ensuring socio-political and economic stability of its neighbours and the entire African continent.
Earlier in his remarks, President Mbasogo said it was an honour for his country to confer the Highest National Honour on President Buhari on his first visit to the country. “We are here to recognise the son of the soil. On this occasion, we deem it fit and appropriate to decorate the son of Africa for the great work he is doing in Africa, which includes tackling a great menace to the continent, Boko Haram,” he said.
The president pledged his country’s support to Nigeria in the fight against insurgency and other security challenges.
President Buhari departed Abuja for Malabo, Equatorial Guinea on a two-day state visit for talks on maritime security on Monday, March 14. Buhari led a national security team to visit President Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, in view of reaching a final agreement on certain security issues concerning both countries. The president is scheduled to return to Abuja on Tuesday, March 15.
— Mar 15, 2016 @ 12:05 GMT