STATEMENT BY MUHAMMADU BUHARI, GCFR, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE COMMONWEALTH LEADERS EVENT HELD AT THE MARLBOROUGH HOUSE, LONDON ON 5TH MAY 2023 IN FRINGES OF THE CORONATION OF HIS MAJESTY KING CHARLES III
Your Majesty, distinguished leaders of the Commonwealth,
It is an honour to be present at this Commonwealth Leaders Event, and a special privilege for me to have the opportunity to engage with you all, particularly His Majesty King Charles III ahead of his coronation.
As I come before you today, I am also mindful that this would be my last official engagement with the King and other leaders of Commonwealth as I leave office on 29 May 2023. I, therefore, feel both humble and grateful to be present at this important moment.
70% of the estimated 220 million population of Nigeria are young people under the age of thirty. Our youths are vibrant and engaged in various professions, ranging from Information Technology, Small and Medium enterprises, Agriculture, Transportation, Sports and other vocations.
We have a fully fledged Ministry of Youths Development at the federal level and the thirty-six states of the Federation. These Ministries, in collaboration with the Ministries of Education at Federal and thirty-six states are responsible for the education of our youths across the country. Other vocational institutions have also been developed to facilitate skills acquisition by our teeming Youths.
Let me take this opportunity to comment on the general elections recently held in Nigeria. These credible elections saw an encouraging turnout of voters and we have demonstrated that a government can be elected peacefully and fairly.
I am particularly proud of this achievement and thank all our friends and the international community, especially the Commonwealth for sending an election observation team led by former President of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, to observe the elections.
Elections are not an event but part of a process of enthroning leadership in a democratic setting. The process started with credible eligible voters Registration, and would end with the adjudication of disputes arising from the process. The aggrieved parties have taken their petitions to the appropriate Nigerian courts for adjudication.
The Commonwealth stands for democracy, good governance, rule of law, and human rights. These values are not just ideals, but must be fully enshrined and put into practice. We need to continue to work together to promote and defend these values, both within our respective countries and across the Commonwealth, particularly in Africa.
The Commonwealth family needs to work collectively to address the challenges facing our world. It is through our shared values that we can create a better world and improve the lives of our people.
I want to thank the Commonwealth and its leadership for their unwavering support to Nigeria, especially during my tenure. The support has been critical to the success story of Nigeria and a step in the right direction to strengthen our Democracy.
As I prepare to leave office, I am proud to leave a united, peaceful, and prosperous Nigeria. May I kindly request for continuous support to Nigeria, particularly the incoming administration, to enable continuity and sustainable development of our beloved country.
I thank you. Long live the Commonwealth.