It is a great honour to warmly welcome you to our country for the first time following your re-election as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Our relationship is anchored on mutual respect, solidarity and understanding.
It was forged in a common struggle against colonialism and apartheid.
It is also informed by the need to overcome our common challenge: poverty and underdevelopment.
Your visit to South Africa takes place shortly after the commencement of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.
We congratulate you on your election as the President of the Assembly and we are pleased to have you, from the brotherly country of Nigeria, presiding over the Assembly as it prepares for its 75th Anniversary.
We in South Africa owe our freedom to the people of Nigeria and the people of Africa.
We pay tribute to Nigeria’s tireless support for the international campaign against apartheid.
We will not forget how Nigeria spearheaded the call for political and economic sanctions against apartheid South Africa following the Sharpeville Massacre of 21 March 1960, which left many unarmed demonstrators dead.
We will not forget the great sacrifices made by the Nigerian people in the 1970s and 1980s for the freedom that South Africans enjoy today.
Without Nigerian support, our freedom would have come at a much greater cost.
We will never forget the great debt we owe you and we will never allow the lawless actions of a few to undermine the bonds of friendship between our peoples.
Today, in that spirit of solidarity, we reaffirmed the strategic bilateral relations between our two countries.
We further committed ourselves to working together to enhance close political, economic and social cooperation in keeping with our mutual desire to establish a special relationship between the two countries.
To concretise this, we have today inaugurated the first session of the Bi-national Commission presided over at Heads of State level, again symbolising the cordial and time-tested relations and the high esteem with which we regard our bilateral relations.
Once again, thank you for honouring us with your presence.
May you and the people of Nigeria have good health and prosperity.
I thank you.
Issued by the Presidency of the Republic of South Africa