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Nigeria opens new Chancery building in Bissau



Nigeria Chancery in Bissau.
Nigeria Chancery in Bissau.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Gabriel Aduda has inaugurated a newly constructed Nigeria Chancery in Bissau.

Aduda stressed the need for improved bilateral relations between Nigeria and Guinea Bissau.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)reports that the ceremony took place in Bissau on the sidelines of Nigeria’s 61st Independence anniversary.

Speaking at the event attended by diplomats and members of Nigeria community in Guinea Bissau, Aduda said bilateral relations between both countries span decades and had been through thick and tin, especially in the area of peace and security.

He said the Federal Government of Nigeria had shown very strong support for the government of Guinea Bissau at every point in time.

“We have enjoyed very cordial relations and it is as a result of this that we have taken it a step further to put in place this property.

“Often time it is not every mission that comes into a country that build a property like this, so this shows the importance and value that we attach to Guinea Bissau.

“As such, we are delighted not only that we are
commissioning this building but also that we are doing it on the occasion of our 61st Independence anniversary.

“By doing this, we are hoping that we will see improved bilateral relations politically, economically, consular matters and in trade between both countries.

“We want to see that the relation becomes stronger between the government of Nigeria, Guinea Bissau and our friends that are present,” he said.

Aduda said the building was carefully conceived to be able to cater for the needs of not just the embassy workers but Nigerians in Guinea Bissau.

He explained that in addition to the office spaces, the edifice housed modern restaurant and canteen as well as a 400-seat capacity multipurpose hall upon completion.

“The idea is to promote unity by making it open to Nigerian community to hold their meetings, weddings and other celebrations here under secured and safe environment.

“We will also be happy to share our space with other missions when the need arises and therefore, it has been strategically located for easy accessibility,” he said.

Aduda commended the Nigeria Ambassador to Guinea Bissau, Mr John Usanga for taking the initiative of moving to the new structure within a short time of assuming duty.

“I want to thank the Ambassador and his entire team in the mission because he could not have done it alone.

“The fact that he was able to take it to this level is commendable because he could have chosen to leave it like the other people before him, but he thought he needed a more befitting place .

“This is not only good for us as a country but will also save us the wastage that we are paying in the former Chancery.

“Even the environment is different and the work energy that it will bring will definitely be different because a work environment affects productivity,” he said.

The Ambassador said moving into the property had brought to a close all the unpleasant experiences the mission had experienced in a rented apartment.

He said the development would also resolve any doubt about Nigeria’s commitment to Guinea Bissau and the ECOWAS subregion as a whole.

“What we are witnessing today is not just the opening of a Chancery building but the marking of an epoch that will deepen Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with Guinea Bissau,” he said.

Usanga thanked the permanent secretary for taking time out of his busy schedule to come to Bissau for the inauguration.

NAN reports that the ceremony was attended by Mr Suzy Barbisa Minister of Foreign Affairs Guinea Bissau, Mr Ovido Pequeno and Mr Emmanuel Ohim, AU and ECOWAS representatives respectively in Guinea Bissau.

Mr Alexander Egorov, the Russian Ambassador to Guinea Bissau and the Dean of Diplomatic Corps in that country led other Ambassadors to the event. (NAN)

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Tinubu Receives Ramaphosa, Seeks Stronger Ties Between Nigeria, South Africa



Tinubu and Ramaphosa
Tinubu and Ramaphosa

President Bola Tinubu on Thursday received his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa as both leaders held a bilateral talks following the latter’s swearing-in ceremony.

The meeting was hosted by the Nigerian president in Johannesburg, South Africa.

In a statement after the meeting, Tinubu’s spokesman Ajuri Ngelale quoted his principal as saying, “I really enjoyed your speech at the ceremony. I was delighted listening to you. We have lots of issues in common, and we need to work more closely together. It was a good celebration”.

The South African president also thanked Tinubu for attending the inauguration.

“Thank you so much for coming for the inauguration. I was very happy to see my brother at the ceremony,” he said.

Ramaphosa was sworn in on Wednesday after a coalition agreement between the African National Congress (ANC) and other parties.

Tinubu was among African leaders who attended Ramaphosa’s swearing-in. A video of the South African president purportedly snubbing Tinubu at the event had gone viral.

But the Nigerian presidency in the wake of the development, said the video was taken out of context.

The Senior Special Assistant to Tinubu on Digital Communications, Strategy, and New Media O’tega Ogra on his X handle said, “For the record: 1. That first row at today’s inauguration was reserved for South African kings/royalty. 2. The South African President wasn’t expected to start greeting dignitaries at the time of the video you shared and he was respectfully recalled to the podium by the inauguration compere (see video below). 3. Immediately after President Ramaphosa finished the anthem, he went ahead to greet the visiting presidents who were all seated in the second row (similar to the way visiting presidents were seated in the third row during Nigeria’s own inauguration on May 29, 2023…).”


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Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi is dead



Late Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi

Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi has died after his helicopter crashed amid heavy fog in northern Iran, state media reported. Raisi was 63.

Rescuers on Monday found the chopper that was carrying the Iranian president, as well as the country’s foreign minister Hossein Amirabdollahian and other senior officials, after it crashed in the mountainous northwest reaches of Iran.

The crash comes as the Middle East remains unsettled by the Israel-Hamas war, during which Raisi, under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, launched an unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel just last month.

Under Raisi, Iran enriched uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels, further escalating tensions with the West as Tehran also supplied bomb-carrying drones to Russia for its war in Ukraine and continued arming proxy groups in the Mideast such as Yemen’s Houthi rebels and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Raisi was a prominent figure in Iranian politics, known for his alignment with conservative and hardline factions. He had been serving as president for nearly three years and was widely expected to run for re-election next year.

Born in Mashhad, a significant religious center for Shia Muslims in northeastern Iran, Raisi’s journey into politics was deeply rooted in his religious education.

He studied at the renowned seminary in Qom, under the guidance of prominent scholars, including Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the current supreme leader of Iran.

His black turban, a symbol that he was a sayyid, or a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, held special significance among Twelver Shia Muslims, further cementing his religious and political stature.

Raisi’s career as a prosecutor began in various jurisdictions before he moved to Tehran in 1985. There, he became a part of a controversial committee of judges responsible for the execution of political prisoners, a role that drew significant criticism from human rights organizations.

Raisi’s untimely death leaves a significant void in Iran’s political landscape. As the nation mourns, questions about his potential successor and the future direction of Iranian politics loom large.


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Nigeria’s Senate President Akpabio seeks IPU’s voice in ending conflict in Gaza



President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio
President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio

The President of Nigeria’s Senate, Godswill Akpabio, has called on the International Parliamentary Union (IPU) to lend a strong voice to the restoration of lasting peace in war-torn Gaza.

Akpabio made the call while contributing to discussions at the ongoing 148th Session of the International Parliamentary Union Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said it is time for nations to rise above sentiments and invoke the spirit of humanity, by doing all they can to bring sustainable peace to the region.

Some of the resolutions, according to the Chairman of Nigeria’s National Assembly, should include access to humanitarian aid, the restoration of normal life in Gaza, and meetings on a permanent truce.

His words: ” Madam President, this is a lone voice from Nigeria. We tried our best in Angola, and we failed to lend a collective voice to what is happening in Gaza. Today, the world is very expectant.

“We must drop ego. It has nothing to do with which country brings the proposal. The basic tenets of humanity demand that we leave here with a resolution for the rest of the world, to show that we have human feelings in us.

“The issues are very clear. If you notice the proposal for 12 blocs; they attempted to even marry the proposals from South Africa. Yes! South Africa has a right to be emotional, but we have children who are dying even as we are talking now. We have people who do not have water to drink, even as we are talking now. We have people who are going to suffer infections from gunshots.

“We have to show the world that we are human beings. The cessation of hostilities must be a part of our resolutions. Access to humanitarian aid must be a part of our resolutions.

‘At the same time, the release of hostages and even those who are prisoners of war, because if both sides take steps in releasing the hostages, releasing the prisoners of war, it means that both sides have agreed that the international community can go to the next stage, which is negotiation for sustainable peace.

“If they cannot agree, I would urge that, from here, we have a three-man drafting committee to come up with those resolutions which we must make before we leave here.

‘We can no longer allow a child to die tonight without lending our voice. It doesn’t matter which side. We are all parents. If we come here to look for ego and then try to be emotional, it’s not affecting them.

“There’s nothing affecting Denmark; there’s nothing affecting South Africa. The people affected are over there and nobody will agree to the lone resolution from Israel. It must be all-encompassing so that we stand up from here as human beings. That would be my plea.

“Let them go aside, meet and remove those vexatious items. In the course of their discussions, we can have amendments. We can add items that we should add, but we must discuss the Gaza issue in this 148th IPU Assembly. That is my position.”

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