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Rising hope for stronger relationship

Nov 11, 2013, 9:59 AM

The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria made his first official visit to The Gambia on Friday, raising hopes for a stronger relationship between Banjul and Abuja.

This, to us, is indeed a timely visit, taking into account recent remarks by Nigeria’s Minister of State II for Foreign Affairs, that Nigeria and The Gambia are strategic partners.

This move by President Jonathan has come at a time when there are strong indications that the existing bilateral relations are improving, to the satisfaction of the peoples of both countries.

In our view, both Jammeh and Jonathan should try and nurture the idea of meeting more regularly, so as to review the state of cooperation, and provide mutual support whenever needed by either country.

We have seen in the past when joint communiqués were signed during similar visits by other African presidents, but the implementation of decisions has taken a long time and, in some cases, not even implemented at all.

We hope and pray that the governments of Presidents Goodluck Jonathan and Yahya Jammeh will make a difference by honouring all agreements signed between the two countries, especially with regards peace.

We believe the speedy implementation of the agreements signed, as in the communiqué, will further help strengthen bilateral cooperation and understanding to the mutual benefit of the peoples of the two countries.

We, therefore, reiterate our call for stronger and better Nigeria-Gambia relations based on the activities and programmes that will be developed by technocrats of both countries at the Joint Commissions, whenever they meet.

The two presidents expressed satisfaction with the climate of peace and understanding which prevails between the two countries and renewed their commitment to mobilize all the resources and energies to ensure the well-being of their peoples.

It is important that both countries make this commitment, because there is no way trade can flourish between the two countries without peace and stability.

The two governments should review and enhance all existing bilateral cooperation areas, in the interest of the two peoples.

Long live Nigeria-Gambia relations.

“The best friend is the man who in wishing me well wishes it for my sake.”