President Bola Tinubu has said Nigeria weighs so heavily in the global scheme of things that ignoring the country would spell dire consequences for the rest of the world.
He said the world risked failing if the idealistic narratives advocated by various heads of state and governments at the United Nations General Assembly were not translated into action.
“The world will ignore Nigeria at its own peril. If we engage in talk shops as real challenges wreak real havoc in real-time, we will fail,” Tinubu told the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, at his UN Headquarters Office in New York City, USA, on Wednesday.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed this in a statement he signed on Thursday titled ‘President Tinubu to UN Secretary-General: We must not use human rights advocacy as a weapon to stop African nations from taking steps needed to reform their economies.’
The Nigerian leader noted that the United Nations must transform from being one of the world’s foremost talk shops to discuss global issues into the world’s foremost action coordination centre.
He added that a situation in which 70 per cent of the resources being devoted to the world’s poorest countries are being spent and sent back out on overheads and administrative costs would defeat the purpose and objectives of the organisation where help is needed most.
He called for concerted, urgent action, saying, “The poverty ravaging our continent and the question of security and counter-terrorism requires us to work in close and effective synergy.
“The time to strike is now. The time to achieve real results is now. I fought for democracy. I was detained for democracy.
“I am now President and I am determined to prove that democracy can provide the development that our nation and our continent so urgently demands.”
The President said although he had since surmounted his poverty-laden past, he would not rest until Nigerians were poverty-free.
“Trace those of us here to our foundations and you will find that we have ties and links with poverty. We must not be ashamed of that history, but poverty is unacceptable.
“I am one of the lucky survivors of gripping poverty. Nigeria is truly a giant — 240 million people and counting with a massive youth population. We are done saying too much. We seek action.
“We have arisen out of poverty as individuals, but until our people have arisen out of that, we will not rest, even if it requires decisions at home that make me temporarily unpopular,” Tinubu said.
Tinubu also asserted that African nations will no longer accept situations in which wealthy and powerful nations brandish human rights advocacy to stop developing economies from dealing decisively with malignant actors who illicitly siphon and smuggle out the continent’s vast mineral resources while smuggling in western-made weapons, which enrich the wealthiest economies in the world at the parasitic expense of the continent’s stability and wealth creation.
He reasoned, “We are facing the great challenge of scavengers ravaging our lands and oppressing our people on illegal mines—taking our gold and mineral wealth back to developed economies by stealth and violence against Nigerians.
“Where one’s human right ends, the rights of another begin, most especially for self-protection. If we fight, they say ‘human rights,’ but we will now be aggressive and question motives.
“We will stop what is happening in our land. We require your effective collaboration.”
Responding, the UN scribe emphasised that the global body was in the middle of real reforms that would largely address some of the institutional frailties and lack of decision-making power for the developing world, on whose behalf more than 75 per cent of UN resources were accrued.
Guterres said, “We now recognise the need to reform the institution to represent the world as it is today—the questions of debt and SDRs.
“The fact that middle-income countries have only marginal access to concessional funding.
“In the SDGs Summit, we believe we have a growing political consensus and a declaration in this regard. We are pursuing this with great determination.”
He assured Tinubu of the fullest support of the UN system for ECOWAS amid the series of military coups in West Africa in the past few months and years.
“Mr. President, we have high expectations for your presidency after the many bold steps you have taken. Nigeria is an indispensable voice in the sub-region.
“We will give you every support needed for your success to be achieved. Your success is Africa’s success and we wish you well,” the UN leader said.
Madukwe B. Nwabuisi is an accomplished journalist renown for his fearless reporting style and extensive expertise in the field. He is an investigative journalist, who has established himself as a kamikaze reporter.