Indian Defence Minister Attends Swearing-in Ceremony of Nigerian President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

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In a significant display of bilateral relations, India’s Defence Minister, Rajnath Singh, attended the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Abuja, Nigeria. The event marked the first-ever visit of an Indian Defence Minister to Nigeria, highlighting the growing importance of ties between the two countries.

Accompanying Rajnath Singh were senior officials from the Ministry of Defence, as well as top executives from Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Goa Shipyard Limited (GSL). Their presence underlined India’s commitment to exploring potential collaborations in the defense sector with Nigeria. In this regard, B2B meetings were organized, allowing Indian defense businesses to identify and address the specific requirements of Nigerian military and government personnel.

India’s representation at the ministerial level in the swearing-in ceremony underscored the strong bilateral relations between the two nations. While numerous African countries sent high-level political representatives, India was among the select non-African nations invited to participate. This gesture reaffirmed the significance and priority placed on the relationship between India and Nigeria.

During the event, Rajnath Singh also met with Tazul Islam, the Bangladeshi Minister for Local Government, Rural Development, and Cooperatives, who was present in Abuja for the ceremony. The meeting served as an opportunity to express the mutual commitment of both governments to strengthen and expand bilateral ties. It highlighted the goodwill and cooperation between India and Bangladesh.

The swearing-in ceremony itself was held at the 5,000-seat Eagle Square in Abuja, under tight security arrangements. Foreign leaders and dignitaries, including President Kagame of Rwanda and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, witnessed the historic moment. Despite political unrest and a legal challenge from the opposition, Bola Ahmed Tinubu took the oath of office, officially becoming the 16th President of Nigeria.

The visit of India’s Defence Minister to Nigeria marked a significant milestone in fostering stronger bonds between the two nations. It demonstrated India’s commitment to engaging with African countries and exploring avenues for cooperation in defense and other strategic sectors. The presence of Indian defense industry representatives further emphasized the potential for collaboration and the exchange of expertise. With this visit, India and Nigeria have set a positive trajectory for future interactions and partnership, aimed at mutual growth and development.

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