By Jonathan Nda- Isaiah
President Muhammadu Buhari and his Ivorian counterpart, Alassane Ouattara on Wednesday expressed concern that political instability in Togo, if not averted, could have regional consequences.
According to a statement by the senior special assistant media to the President, Garba Shehu, both leaders expressed the view during a bilateral meeting in Abidjan on the margins of the 5th AU-EU Summit.
“We must have a solution in Togo. The friends of the opposition and authorities must talk to them on the steps to jointly take to achieve stability. They must work towards gaining the trust of each other.
‘‘There will be regional consequences for instability in Togo and this will surely come at a cost to development,’’ President Buhari said.
The Nigerian leader also had a separate bilateral meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel where the issue of stemming the tide of illegal migration of Nigerians to Europe took the front burner.
The two leaders agreed to strengthen legal migration and made a commitment to expand discussions on how to stem the tide of illegal migration.
On security, President Buhari told the German Chancellor that his government’s commitment to the security of lives and property in Nigeria remains absolute.
Reaffirming the nexus between security and job creation in Nigeria, President Buhari said prompt attention is being given to the gainful employment of youths in Nigeria through education and the acquisition of skills and vocational training.
He said Nigeria and Germany can draw from the experiences to cooperate effectively in the area of investing in youths for a sustainable future.
In her remarks, the German Chancellor appreciated the strides made by the Buhari administration in revamping the economy and promised to increase support for Nigeria in dealing with terrorism.
Merkel said 58 German companies are operating in Nigeria, adding that more companies have indicated interest to invest in the energy, manufacturing, agriculture and construction sectors.
President Buhari also had fruitful bilateral discussions with Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo and the Vice President of the Gambia Fatoumata Tambajang.