President Goodluck Jonathan was Friday conferred the Cote D’Ivoire’s highest honour, the Grand Cross of the Order of the Nation by President Alassane Ouattara.
President Ouattara said this is in appreciation of Nigeria’s contributions to peace, stability and progress in Cote D’Ivoire.
Nigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan was conferred with the honour of Commander of the Order of the Nation at a State Banquet in Abidjan, the Ivorian seat of government.
President Jonathan who began a state visit to the country on Friday said that Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire must continue to strengthen their bilateral cooperation for the benefit of their citizens and others in the West African sub-region.
“As partners, driven by shared values and a common strategic objective, namely, the security, stability and prosperity of our sub-region, we must continue to build on the historical bond of friendship and solidarity which have served our two countries very well in the past. My challenge – and also President Ouattara’s challenge – is to intensify this partnership for the benefit of our citizens and the entire sub-region of West Africa.“I believe that the future of our countries lies in consolidating our relationships in all spheres of human endeavour but most especially in the areas of democratisation and good governance, promotion of human rights, poverty eradication and development.
“Going forward, our countries must build on the efforts of our past leaders to foster a climate of peace and security in our sub-region. Without these collective efforts, our hopes and our aspiration of improving the living conditions of our peoples would be imperilled. We must fight poverty collectively through pooling of our resources, value-addition, intra-regional trade and promotion of investments,” President Jonathan said.
President Jonathan thanked President Ouattara and the people of Cote D’Ivoire for the special honours conferred on him and the First Lady. “We will cherish and treasure them for the rest of our lives,” he said.
”As a true friend of Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria will always be on your side to share the joys and pains of friendship, in good times as well as in bad times. We stood, shoulder to shoulder, with you all the way during some of the darkest periods of your recent history”, President Jonathan added.
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