By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari, at a bilateral meeting with Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of The Netherlands, in New York, U.S., has said Nigeria would have been in trouble if it had not taken the decision to shut its borders to some food imports before the advent of COVID-19.
Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, indicated that the Buhari/Mark Rutte meeting took place on Friday, on the sidelines of the 76th UN General Assembly in New York.
According to Adesina, President Buhari told Rutte that Nigeria took decisions to shut the borders, “eat what we grow, and curb smuggling”, noting that if that had not been done, “we would have been in serious trouble.
“We are lucky to have taken the decision when we did, otherwise things would have been impossible with the advent of COVID-19.”
The President also assured that Nigeria is dealing with terrorist elements troubling the country.
Buhari told Rutte “We are preoccupied with security, and we are getting somewhere.”
The Nigerian leader added that the North-East and the South-South, which were the issues in 2015, were stabilizing, while efforts had been intensified to restore calm to the North-West, North-Central, and other restive areas.
On the spectre of military coups in West Africa, President Buhari told his guest that he was surprised at the attitude of those tampering with the Constitution of their countries, to stay longer in office.
He assured that ECOWAS was doing the needful to address the developments.
Prime Minister Rutte congratulated President Buhari on how he successfully leads a country of over 200 million people, wishing Nigeria greater advances.