By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari in the course of the week reassured Nigerians that with the renewed efforts of the Nigerian military, insecurity in the country would soon be a thing of the past.
The Nigerian leader, currently engaged with official activities at the ongoing 77th Session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA77) in New York, United States, gave the assurance at bilateral talks with Prime Minister of Ireland, Micheal Martin, on Saturday.
Buhari had earlier addressed the UN General Assembly on Wednesday for the last time as Nigeria’s leader.
In the farewell speech, he told the global body that his administration was determined to entrench a process of free, fair, transparent and credible elections through which Nigerians would elect their leaders.
He also alerted the world leaders on the danger of escalation of the war in Ukraine, saying the conflict further justifies Nigeria’s resolute calls for a nuclear-free world and a universal Arms Trade Treaty.
Buhari said the call had become necessary to prevent global human disasters.
He, therefore, demanded that world leaders must find quick means to reach consensus on the nuclear non-proliferation Treaty with related commitments by nuclear weapon states.
Also, while in United States, the Nigerian leader lauded the recent successful operation of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) leading to the smashing of an international drug syndicate and recovery of 1,855kg of cocaine.
The president made his feelings known when he originated a telephone call to the Chairman of the NDLEA, retired Brig.-Gen. Buba Marwa, from New York.
Buhari said that the news of the recovery gladdens his heart.
The NDLEA had announced the “highest cocaine seizure” worth over 278 million dollars and arrest of drug barons, including a foreigner, in a major operation lasting two days across different locations in Lagos.
The president also at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum held on the margins of the UNGA77 in New York on Sept. 22, expressed delight that Nigeria’s investments in improving security were yielding fruitful results.
He, therefore, lauded the Nigeria military for making significant progress in the fight against insecurity and building the momentum in reducing challenges to its barest minimum.
The president pledged that the Federal Government would do more to improve security, recognising that the sector is another critical element in the flow of investment, and overall economic and infrastructural development.
Buhari also spoke at a ‘Leaders’ Closed-Door Meeting on Climate Change’ convened by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr Antonio Guterres.
He restated the commitment of the Nigerian government towards ensuring that there is a rapid and strategic transition to renewable energy.
He said this would be in response to the world-wide efforts for the preservation of the environment.
Also at a meeting with the Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) at the Nigeria International Economic Partnership Forum on Sept. 23, Buhari described the United States as Nigeria’s main trading partner and one of ‘‘our most important diplomatic partners’’.
This, he said, underscored the need for concerted efforts to increase the volume of bilateral trade.
The meeting was held on the margins of the 77th UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday.
The Nigerian leader told the gathering that in 2020, Nigeria exported over $1.69 billion worth of goods to the US, adding that these exports were primarily made up of crude oil and other petroleum products.
Buhari also held bilateral talks with the President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, in New York on Wednesday, where he called on African countries and their Arab partners to work hard and be more united to realise common objectives.
He said the actualisation of the UN resolution which proposed a Two-State solution to the crisis between Israel and Palestine required a platform to think creatively on how to engage the rest of the world on the matter.
In a separate meeting with the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Buhari urged for a closer partnership with Nigeria in education, health, security as well as non-oil and gas sectors.
While stressing the importance of education and knowledge, he said the time had come to begin to look at practical ways of tackling health challenges that come without notice.
Mitsotakis told the president that “Greece possessed the technological know-how in security, surveillance as well as intelligence gathering and utilisation, and was in a position to assist Nigeria.
The president also on Friday in New York called for more private sector participation in the humanitarian sector in Nigeria.
Buhari made the call against the backdrop of lingering challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, catastrophic weather events and conflicts.
The Nigerian leader also stressed the need for efficient collaboration among stakeholders involved in humanitarian action and disaster mitigation in the country.
The event was hosted by the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, entitled ”Strengthening Resilience and Sustaining Development: A Humanitarian Development Peace Approach to Leaving No One Behind”.
Buhari at a High-Level side event on ”Food Security Response: Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Securing Asset Returns for Sustainable Development’‘, urged African leaders to fight tirelessly to get rid of corruption.
The president, who spoke in his capacity as the African Union Champion on efforts to eliminate corruption in the continent, lamented that the continent had remained at the far end of global development index because of its menace.
The event, held at the margins of UNGA77, on Sept. 24, was co-hosted by African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
While providing his perspectives on the effects of corruption in the continent and the way forward, the Nigerian leader said he was honoured to serve as AU Champion on anti-corruption since 2018.
Buhari also on Friday inaugurated Nigeria’s Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) for Sustainable Development.
The event was also held on the margins of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA77) in New York. (NAN)