President Buhari To Attend UN Congress


President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to lead the Federal Government’s delegation to the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).

Buhari will be joining other world leaders to address issues of global importance as well as those peculiar to their different countries and regions.

The UNGA kicks off from Tuesday,September this year.


The president, according to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, will use the opportunity to put in proper perspective some issues about his administration which have been largely misconstrued, particularly as regards human rights, especially the concern raised recently by US congressman, Tom Marino of the United States, in a letter to the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, asking the US government to withhold security assistance to Nigeria until President Buhari demonstrates what he described as a”commitment to inclusive government and the most basic tenets of democracy: freedom to assemble and freedom of speech.”

The minister who briefed journalists in Abuja on the UNGA said: “There is need to tell our own story and tell it persuasively too to get support from the world. We are not a sick patient looking for help. Nigeria is a power house seeking opportunity to play a greater role in global affairs.”

Reacting to the alleged human rights abuse by the administration, Onyeama said: “It would be an opportunity to put the record straight. Government does not interfere with the judiciary; neither does it interfere with the activities of the EFCC and other investigative bodies.”

Onyeama also stressed that the Buhari administration has from onset defined the rule of engagement in the battle against terrorism.

He disclosed that Nigeria would also seize the opportunity to canvass support for her candidates in various UN organizations, such as the Human Rights Council and the International Civil Aviation which is currently occupied by a Nigerian.

“It is important that Nigeria is involved in such because there are a lot of benefits for the country in it. Nigeria had already been elected into the civil aviation body and would be seeking re-election. Also, we are hoping to get a seat at the Human Rights Council election coming towards the end of this year,” he said.

On the economy, Onyeama said Nigeria would be the focus of a US / Africa business forum and the president hopes to use the platform attract a huge foreign direct investment from the United States.

He said: “The president is doing everything possible to promote trade and invest in order to get the economy moving and lift the people out of poverty”.

The minister said the issue of refugee and migration would come up for discussion.

While noting that Nigeria plans to seek for more international support in tackling the issue of internally displaced persons in the North East, Onyeama said: “Nigeria is one of the countries whose nationals regularly migrate to Europe. In spite of this, we would be having a special session with the EU.”

The minister also disclosed that the president is expected to sign the Paris Agreement on Climate Change which is symbolic.

He explained that the action would show to the world that Nigeria is serious about addressing the climate change problem.



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