Ivorian President Alassane Ouattara says his Nigerian counterpart, Muhammadu Buhari, has shown a eat leadership in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgency and insecurity in the sub-region as well as on economic matters.
Addressing State House reporters after holding a bilateral discussion with Buhari at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Quattara, who noted that he was in Nigeria on Buhari's invitation, commended the Nigerian leader over measures taken to lift the nation out of recession
He said Ivorians were very happy that Buhari was back in good health, stressing that "This is important not only for Nigeria but for the whole of West Africa and our continent. We pray God that his health continue to be strengthened and be better for him to lead our sub-region.
"The leadership of Nigeria is quite important to all of us which is something that is obvious but I think it needs to be said. President Buhari has shown a great leadership with the fight against Boko Haram, insecurity in the sub region and also on economic matters. I expressed to him the fact as an economist and having worked in Nigeria many years ago, I'm impressed by the measures which have been implemented to lift Nigeria out of recession.
"Nigeria has seen sharp drop in the price of oil and Cote D'Ivore has also experienced an important decrease in the price of cocoa. As you are all aware, Cote D'Ivore produces 40% of world cocoa, two million tons and the price dropped early this year by 40 percent. So, this has had negative effects on our economy. I know what Nigeria went through with the sharp drop in the price of oil," he stated.
Affirming that the subregion had made a lot of progress over the past few years, Quattara stressed the need for Nigeria and Cote D'Ivore to strengthen their bilateral relationship.
The Ivorian leader said he and Buhari also discussed the situations in Togo and Liberia and "we have complete consensus on how we should go about to strengthen democracy in our subregion."
Quattara disclosed that President Buhari had promised to attend the African Union/European Union meeting in Abidjan at the end of November.