President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged Nigeria’s continued support for Libya’s quest to regain political and security stability.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Monday, said Buhari made the pledge at a bilateral meeting with the Head of Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez Al-Sarraj, on the margins of the AU Summit in Niamey, on Sunday.
“We will do our best to help Libya stabilise,’’ Buhari said.
The President, who discussed recent developments in the North African country as well as bilateral issues between Nigeria and Libya with Al-Sarraj, noted that there were over 6000 Nigerians in Libya, who see Libya as gateway to Europe.
According to him, the humanitarian crisis arising from insurgency and the drying up of Lake Chad has forced some Nigerians to defy the desert to make perilous journeys across the Mediterranean and the Sahara Desert to Europe.
He further noted that the drying of the Lake Chad had affected over 30 million people in the region who depended on the Lake for farming, fishing and animal husbandry.
Also, in a separate audience with UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, Buhari stressed the role the international community needed to play in recharging the Lake.
The Nigerian leader noted that the financial cost of recharging the Lake was beyond the affected countries.
The President decried the menace of terrorism in the Sahel countries, noting that the instability in Libya had been a negative force on the Sahel.
The Head of Libya’s GNA told the President that there had been a lot of deaths and injuries in his country, pledging however that his government was determined to put an end to the situation.
“The aggression must stop. The solution is not military alone we also believe in diplomacy. We are also victims of terrorism, just like Nigeria,’’ he said.
Al-Sarraj declared that Libya contributed a lot to the establishment and survival of the AU, adding that it was now time for Africa to reciprocate.
On her part, the Deputy Secretary-General told the President that growing security challenges in Africa were adversely affecting development and undermining the attainment of Sustaining Development Goals (SDGs).
She said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres would host the SDGs Summit during the high-level week of the 74th Session of the General Assembly in September.
She revealed that Guterres would also use the occasion to call for a road map for a decade of delivery of the sustainable development targets.
The Deputy Secretary-General also congratulated Buhari for signing the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement at the AU Summit in Niamey, saying “the entire world is waiting for Nigeria.’’ (NAN)