Nigeria\'s president Muhammadu Buhari in Guinea
President Buhari (L) is conferred with the highest national honour at a banquet hosted by Equatorial Guinea\'s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (R), on 14 March Femi Adesina / Facebook

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has received a national honour for his "personal integrity and exemplary leadership", conferred by the President of Equatorial Guinea. The Nigerian leader flew to Guinea on 14 March for a two-day visit to hold meetings with his counterpart, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.

The two leaders are expected to hold talks on maritime security to protect territories in the Niger Delta and the Gulf of Guinea. During his visit, Buhari, who took office in May 2015 defeating incumbent leader Goodluck Jonathan, received the Highest National Honour at the presidential palace in the capital Malabo.

The award was conferred on the Nigerian leader for "his personal integrity, exemplary leadership, style and courage to fight terrorism in order to ensure peace and safety in Africa," Buhari's spokesperson said in a statement.

During the investiture ceremony, Buhari called on all African countries to come together and tackle common challenges.

"On behalf of my country, Nigeria, and the people, I will like to express profound gratitude for the honour given to me and my people. The reality of the situation now is that there had never been a time in history for greater neighbourliness, for security and economic stability than now," he said.

President Mbasogo said it was an honour for his country to confer the award. "We are here to recognise the son of the soil. On this occasion, we deem it fit and appropriate to decorate the son of Africa for the great work he is doing in Africa, which includes tackling a great menace to the continent, Boko Haram, " he said.

Mbasogo also pledged support to Nigeria in its fight against Boko Haram, which has killed at least 20,000 people since 2009 and was deemed the world's deadliest terror group, surpassing its ally, Islamic State (Isis), in November 2015.


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