United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres, while commending Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for his leadership roles in Africa, urged him to continue to use his position to stabilize West Africa after he raised the alarm on erosion of democracy in the subregion by authoritarian rulers and coup plotters, himself not excluded.
The UN Secretary-General spoke in a meeting with the Nigerian President at the sidelines of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) taking place in New York.
According to the UN Scribe, Africa, especially West Africa was generally seen as an ocean of stability and good governance, but was deeply concerned at recent reversal of fortunes in democratic rule in some parts of the West African sub-region with coups overturning elected institutions.
He, therefore, urged President Buhari, who expressed the same concerns earlier, to continue to show leadership as he looks up to Nigeria to help stabilize the subregion in terms of democracy and good governance.
This charge from Secretary-General Guterres to President Buhari should begin at home as Nigeria is in West Africa and stabilizing the member nations is an integral part of stabilizing the subregion.
While President Buhari, a former military coup plotter and dictator, was meeting with World leaders on the sidelines of the 76th UNGA in New York, Nigerian Indigenous Nationalities Alliance for Self-determination (NINAS) Million-Man March protesters were outside the UN Building venue for days demanding an end to the military-era imposed constitution which they believe is antidemocratic and foists the rule of men, rather than the rule of law.
Going forward, President Buhari needs to heed the clamour of NINAS, which in its December 16, 2020 Constitutional Force Majeure (CFM) declaration issued a notice of constitutional grievances and itemized a well thought out roadmap for an orderly transition to a people-driven democratic constitutional order.
On terrorism, the Secretary General commended the efforts of Nigeria on this global phenomenon, assuring the Nigerian leader of the United Nations’ continued support in her efforts to address the prevailing security and humanitarian challenges that have arisen especially with the Internally Displaced Persons.
He also commended Nigeria’s efforts on climate change, expressing willingness of the world body to cooperate with the country in this regard.
President Buhari applauded Mr Guterres for his global leadership and the success of the 76th Session.
He assured the Secretary General that Nigeria had achieved appreciable successes in tackling the insecurity caused by terrorists and bandits.
The President also thanked him for the global organisation’s intervention in activities towards reducing the effects of Climate Change especially with the support for the Great Green Wall programme, which is aimed at arresting desertification across the Sahel as well as the campaign against deforestation in Nigeria.
President Buhari added that Nigeria was ready to support and work closely with the United Nations towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.