The Diplomatic Correspondents’ Association of Nigeria, DICAN has conferred on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, the Grand Patron of the Association for his innovative role in enhancing Nigeria’s foreign policy through President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

Speaking shortly after the conferment, the Minister, Ambassador, Yusuf Tuggar said the move by DICAN was a challenge to do more especially as the country vigorously expand its foreign policy in line with the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We will expand, we’ll continue to engage other countries but you also have to bear in mind that whatever you do in foreign policy, your starting point is the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and in that constitution, the foreign policy objectives in Nigeria, and those constants, you cannot change that. And one of the foreign policy objectives, one talks about our region, West Africa. Another, Africa itself, so, those are immovable.

“And you can see how it also makes sense for Nigeria to pay close attention to what happens in its region because when outsiders also engage with us, they not only engage with us as Nigeria, but they’re also engaging with us as the leader in our neighborhood, in our region, on the continent.

“And this is going to become even more so because we’re growing in terms of population, we are the most populous and we will continue to be so we’ll be the most third most populous country on the planet by 2050 and of course, economy is also the largest economy on the continent. Therefore, when people look at us, they will approach us through that perspective,” he said.

He also spoke on Nigeria’s deliberate policy of non alignment among other sundry issues.

“Nigeria has been consistent in terms of even when we had a bipolar world, we were non aligned, we will neither with the US nor the Soviet bloc at the time. We dealt with both sides.
We are equal opportunity aligners, we are aligned with the interests of Nigeria and we will continue to do so.

“This is why she continued to emphasize today on strategic autonomy and that’s the new name for non alignment since we no longer have those two blocks, you no longer have a bipolar world with the structure that you have now, it is a multipolar world. We align with whatever polarity benefits Nigeria, Nigeria’s interests and the tradition of condoling with countries when they have such unfortunate incident occur, continues. It’s not new.

“And Russia is not an enemy.
If you go back to the Soviet era and the Cold War era? Soviet Union had very close relations with Nigeria, Ajaokuta Steel Complex was built by Soviet Union at the time, which consisted of both Russia and Ukraine and we will continue to maintain very good relations with them. Our position on violation of territorial integrity of countries remains the same, it remains consistent, we condemned the violation of Ukraine’s territorial space when it occurred but it does not mean that because of that, we will stop dealing with Russia, we will continue to deal with Ukraine, same way we’re dealing with other countries,” Amb. Tuggar concluded .

Earlier, the Chairman, Diplomatic Correspondents Association of Nigeria, DICAN, Comrade, Idehai Frederick assured that the Association will continue to report Nigeria from a patriotic point of view as well as project the nation’s image positively before the international community.

“We as DICAN are committed to supporting you to succeed in your responsibility as the number one diplomat in the country. We also assure you of DICAN’s partnership to project the nation’s image positively before the international community as well as drive the country’s foreign policy in line with the renewed hope agenda of the President.

“Your Excellency, we also wish to reassurance you of the association’s commitment to partner with you and the Ministry to make Nigeria a better place,” Idehai said.

The visit led by the Chairman, Comrade Idehai Frederick, a Senior Editor of Channel Network Afrique, CNA was also use to introduce to the Minister the newly elected executive and members of the noble Association.

The visit to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, is one among several visits lined up by DICAN to engage with the Diplomatic Community, key government agencies, relevant stakeholders for the overall interest of the country.