President Bola Tinubu underscored Nigeria’s pivotal role on the world stage, cautioning that neglecting the country could have grave consequences for the international community. He delivered this message during a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres at the UN Headquarters in New York City.
Tinubu expressed concerns that the lofty ideals discussed at the United Nations General Assembly risked remaining mere rhetoric if not translated into tangible actions. He asserted, “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.”
Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, conveyed Tinubu’s remarks in a statement 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.”
President Tinubu stressed that the United Nations should evolve from being primarily a platform for discussion to becoming a paramount center for global action. He also raised concerns about the allocation of resources, highlighting that a significant portion of aid to the world’s poorest nations is consumed by administrative costs, thereby defeating the organization’s intended purpose.
Calling for a concerted and immediate response, Tinubu emphasized the urgency of addressing issues such as poverty, security, and counter-terrorism in Africa through effective collaboration. He urged the international community to work closely together to tackle these pressing challenges head-on.
He said: “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.
“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.”