President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday sought the assistance of the global community on his administration’s efforts towards fighting corruption and recovering stolen assets.
The president made the demand in his statement at the general debate of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States.
“Through our individual national efforts, state institutions are being strengthened to promote accountability, and to combat corruption and asset recovery. These can only be achieved through the international community cooperating and providing critical assistance and material support,” he said.
Buhari assured that Nigeria would cooperate in addressing the growing transnational crimes such as forced labour, modern day slavery, human trafficking and cybercrime.
He said while these cooperative efforts should be sustained, strategies must be collectively devised to stop fleeing ISIS fighters from mutating and infiltrating into the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin “where there are insufficient resources and response capacity is weak.”
President Buhari assured the international community of Nigeria’s firm and unshaken commitment to democracy in the country and the African continent.
He said the frontiers of good governance, democracy including holding free and fair elections, and enthronement of the rule of law were expanding everywhere, especially in Africa.
“Our faith in democracy remains firm and unshaken. Our regional organisation ECOWAS came together to uphold democratic principles in The Gambia – as we had done previously in Cote D’Ivoire,” he said.
Buhari said new conflicts should not make the global community lose focus on ongoing unresolved old conflicts. “For example, several UN Security Council Resolutions from 1967 on the Middle East crisis remain unimplemented. Meanwhile, the suffering of the Palestinian people and the blockade of Gaza continue.
“Additionally, we are now confronted by the desperate human rights and humanitarian situations in Yemen and most tragically in the Rakhine State of Myanmar.
“The international community cannot remain silent and not condemn the horrendous suffering caused by what, from all indications, is a state-backed programme of brutal depopulation of the Rohingya inhabited areas in Myanmar on the bases of ethnicity and religion.”
Buhari described the widening inequalities within societies, and the gap between the rich and the poor nations as part of “the underlining root causes of competition for resources, frustration and anger leading to spiralling instability.”
He also stated that “The most pressing threat to international peace and security today is the accelerated nuclear weapons development programme by North Korea.
Buhari said Nigeria proposed a strong UN delegation to urgently engage the North Korean leader, canvassing that the delegation, led by the Security Council, should include members from all the regions.
He commended the UN’s role in helping to settle thousands of innocent civilians caught in the conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.