FG Wants UN To Broker Chibok Girls Swap Deal | Independent Newspapers Limited
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FG Wants UN To Broker Chibok Girls Swap Deal

Chibok Girls
Posted: Sep 23, 2016 at 4:15 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

* Return Looted Fund In Your Custody, Buhari Tells World Leaders

Innocent Oweh

Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has told the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, that Nigeria would welcome intermediaries from the global body to perfect the swap deal involving the abducted schoolgirls from Chibok with Boko Haram fighters.

He made the disclosure at a bilateral meeting with the UN scribe at the sideline of the 71st UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday.

President Buhari, however, lamented that his administration was willing to bend over backwards to get the Chibok girls released from captivity but was facing a major challenge of getting credible and bona fide leadership of Boko Haram to discuss with.

According to Buhari, “The split in the insurgent group is not helping matters. Government had reached out, ready to negotiate, but it became difficult to identify credible leaders, hence the invitation of intermediaries such as UN outfits, to step in”.

The president reiterated in a statement by his media aide, Femi Adesina, that the teachings of Boko Haram were far from being Islamic, as neither Islam, nor any other religion advocates hurting the weak and innocent.

“The fact that they kill men, women, children, and other people wantonly, and shout Allahu Akbar (God is great) shows that they do not know that Allah at all. If they did, they would not shed innocent blood,” President Buhari said.

He lauded Ban Ki-moon for the moral and material support given to Nigeria, which has enabled the country surmount many of the challenges facing her.

In his response, the UN Secretary General congratulated Buhari on the anti-corruption war, declaring: “You are highly respected by world leaders, including myself. Your persona has given your country a positive image.”

He said the UN recognsed the achievements of the Buhari administration against Boko Haram, urging that human rights be upheld always, to prevent a repeat of the scenario being witnessed in Syria.

Ban Ki-moon also thanked the Nigerian leader for his commitment to issues on climate change, adding that the government should “own the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” for the good of its citizens.

Meanwhile, Buhari also on Thursday called on development partners to support the fight against corruption in the country and expedite action on repatriating stolen funds in their countries.

He explained that his administration is fighting the scourge of corruption headlong because it contributed to the denial of the resources required for development.

Speaking in New York at the High-Level Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the declaration on the right to development, the president called on development partners to also halt future illicit financial flows to their countries.

According to Buhari, such collective action “will guarantee a stronger international defence of the right to development.”

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, quoted Buhari to have noted further that illicit financial assets stashed abroad deprived developing countries including Nigeria, and invariably deny people the enjoyment of their national wealth and resources needed for development.

He cautioned that non-repatriation of illicit financial assets could impinge on the determination of states to achieve an all-inclusive 2030 sustainable development, the statement said.

President Buhari, therefore, called on the United Nations “to remain vocal and active in addressing the negative impact of non-repatriation of illicit financial assets on their countries of origin,” adding that “as soon as stolen assets are legally established, they should swiftly be repatriated.”

The president, while welcoming the commemoration of three decades of the declaration on the right to development, which, he observed, coincides with the first anniversary of the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, said “it reminds us all of the essence of development and provides us with the opportunity to reaffirm commitments to converting this right into the policies and operational activities of relevant actors at the national, regional and international levels.”