President Bola Tinubu delivering his speech to UN General Assembly in New York/ UN Photo
By Cecilia Ologunagba
New York, Sept. 20, 2023
Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday called on world leaders to affirm democratic governance as the best guarantor of the sovereign will and well-being of the people, saying military coups are wrong.
Tinubu said this in his inaugural statement to the 78th session of the General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York.
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Tinubu, who delivered his address to the world leaders at 8p.m. local tine, spoke on behalf of Nigeria and Africa.
“Military coups are wrong, as is any tilted civilian political arrangement that perpetuates injustice. The wave crossing parts of Africa does not demonstrate favour towards coups.
“It is a demand for solutions to perennial problems. Regarding Niger, we are negotiating with the military leaders.
”As Chairman of ECOWAS, I seek to help re-establish democratic governance in a manner that addresses the political and economic challenges confronting that nation, including the violent extremists who seek to foment instability in our region.
“I extend a hand of friendship to all who genuinely support this mission,’’ he said.
Tinubu, however. told the leaders of Nigeria’s accord with the objectives and guiding principles of the world body: peace, security, human rights and development.
“ In fundamental ways, nature has been kind to Africa, giving abundant land, resources and creative and industrious people.
“Yet, man has too often been unkind to his fellow man and this sad tendency has brought sustained hardship to Africa’s doorstep.
“To keep faith with the tenets of this world body and the theme of this year’s Assembly, the poverty of nations must end.
”The pillage of one nation’s resources by the overreach of firms and people of stronger nations must end. The will of the people must be respected. This beautiful, generous and forgiving planet must be protected,’’ he said.
According to him, as for Africa, we seek to be neither appendage nor patron and we do not wish to replace old shackles with new ones.
Instead, the Nigerian leader said: “we hope to walk the rich African soil and live under the magnificent African sky free of the wrongs of the past and clear of their associated encumbrances. We desire a prosperous, vibrant democratic living space for our people.
“To the rest of the world, I say walk with us as true friends and partners. Africa is not a problem to be avoided nor is it to be pitied. Africa is nothing less than the key to the world’s future.’’
The UN correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Tinubu was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Amb. Tijjani Muhammad-Bande and the Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila.
Other Nigerian officials on the delegation are: Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun; Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Ali Pate and Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Dr Doris Uzoka-Anita.
Also on the delegation are: Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo; Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake; Minister of Arts and Culture, Hannatu Musawa; and Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Betta Edu.
Others are: Akwa Ibom Governor, Umo Eno; Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo; Gov. Uba Sani of Kaduna; Gov. Inuwa Yahaya of Gombe; and Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq of Kwara, among others.