Ban Ki-Moon, the United Nations secretary general, has explained why he was eager to meet with Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.
UN secretary said that he arrived Nigeria in line for Buhari’s strong political commitment to good governance, participatory democracy and his commitment to fighting terrorism.
Ban Ki-Moon was speaking at a dialogue on democracy, human rights, development, climate change and countering violent extremism, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja.
He noted that he was in the country to visit Buhari and to certify strong partnership with Nigeria.
Ban Ki-Moon praised Nigerian leader for vowing to tackle disparity and corruption in his inaugural speech, advising the administration against marginalising the citizens.
He noted that the UN has the ambition of guaranteeing sustainable development areas, providing gender parity, ending hunger and poverty and combating corruption by 2030.
The secretary-general emphasised the importance of tackling climate change, adding 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.”
On his own part, President Buhari has accepted an invitation from the to a meeting of world leaders in New York which is expected to formulate a fresh plan of action against extremism.
Shehu Garba, presidential aide, noted that President Barack Obama and President Francois Hollande of France are also anticipated to take part in the September 28 meeting which will, among other things deliberate on a new United Nations draft resolution on combating extremism worldwide.
“Ban Ki Moon also invited President Buhari to a meeting of a select group of 25 World leaders in New York on September 27 to deliberate on a global climate change agreement.
“In offering the invitations Monday in Abuja, the Secretary-General said they were in recognition of the political will demonstrated by President Buhari in combating terror in Nigeria and dealing with environmental issues,” Garba said.