President Muhammadu Buhari has assured the international community of Nigeria’s firm and unshaken commitment to democracy in the country and the African continent.
President Buhari gave the assurance, on Tuesday, while addressing world leaders at the 72nd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States.
He said the commitment to democratic ideals became profound with Nigeria leading ECOWAS’ effort in the restoration of democratic governance in The Gambia and Cote D’Ivoire.
“Our faith in democracy remains firm and unshaken,” he said, adding “our regional organisation, ECOWAS came together to uphold democratic principles in The Gambia – as we had done previously in Cote D’Ivoire.”
According to the President, “The frontiers of good governance, democracy including holding free and fair elections, and enthronement of the rule of law are expanding everywhere, especially in Africa.”
He also said that through individual national efforts, state institutions were being strengthened to promote accountability, and to combat corruption and asset recovery.
President Buhari commended the UN, Germany, Italy, Greece and Turkey for assisting victims of conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the international community for its exemplary show of solidarity in assisting “the countries and communities in the Sahel and the Lake Chad regions to contain the threats posed by Al-Qaeda and Boko Haram.”
“We thank the Security Council for visiting the countries of the Lake Chad Basin to assess the security situation and humanitarian needs, and for pledging assistance to rebuild lives and livelihoods.”
He said Nigeria is currently “providing relief and humanitarian assistance to millions in internally displaced camps and those afflicted by terrorism, drought, floods and other natural disasters.”
President Buhari also called for the sustenance of international collaborative efforts in fighting international terrorism.
He said, “We must collectively devise strategies and mobilise the required responses to stop fleeing ISIS fighters from mutating and infiltrating into the Sahel and the Lake Chad Basin, where there are insufficient resources and response capacity is weak.”
The President, however, said it would require strong UN cooperation with regional organisations, such as the African Union, in conflict prevention and management.
“The UN should continue to take primary leadership of the maintenance of international peace and security by providing, in a predictable and sustainable manner, adequate funding and other enablers to regional initiatives and peacekeeping operations authorised by the Security Council,” he said.