The United Nations secretary general, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, yesterday said that he was impatient to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari due to his strong political commitment to good governance, participatory democracy and his commitment to fighting terrorism.
In his address at a dialogue on democracy, human rights, development, climate change and countering violent extremism, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Ban Ki-Moon stated that he was in Nigeria to visit President Buhari and to ensure strong United Nations (UN) partnership with the country.
He commended Buhari for pledging to tackle inequality and corruption in his inaugural speech, urging the government against marginalising the citizens.
Ban Ki-Moon urged Nigeria to tackle terrorism and extremism, noting that insecurity takes root due to mismanagement of resources, injustice, marginalisation of vulnerable and minority groups and inequality.
He stated that the UN has the ambition of ensuring sustainable development goals, ensuring gender parity, ending hunger and poverty and combating corruption by 2030.
The secretary-general stressed the importance of tackling climate change, noting that sustainable development goals may not be realised without addressing the phenomenon.
He said, “Apart from the Chibok schoolgirls, many other boys and children have been kidnapped by Boko Haram. But why has insecurity and extremism been able to take root among the people?
“I think that comes from mismanagement, bad governance, inequality and injustice. When you have no hope for your future, when leaders do not care about inclusive government, people find some other ways. The five-year war in Syria started because the leaders had not been paying attention to the people and the country became a perfect breeding ground for extremism.”
In his remark, Osinbajo noted that about 110million Nigerians are poor, adding that the government is working to develop the nation’s economy so that the citizens could be empowered.
He stated that the federal government would continue to work hard to provide jobs and alternatives for Nigerians.
On climate change, he said Nigeria will join the rest of the world in tackling the menace.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, urged the United Nations secretary general to assist Nigeria to recover its stolen money stashed in foreign countries by corrupt politicians.