President Tinubu underscored the need for the UN to start acting now to protect the rights of African nations. Photo: Abdullah Bello/Radio Nigeria
President Bola Tinubu says African nations will no longer accept a situation in which human rights advocacy is used by powerful nations to stop developing economies from dealing with malign actors, who illicitly smuggle out the continent’s vast mineral resources while smuggling in western-made weapons to enrich the wealthiest economies at the expense of African stability and wealth creation.
The President stated this while meeting with United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, at the UN Headquarters Office in New York City.
“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 we will question motives. We will stop what is happening in our land. We require your effective collaboration,” the President firmly stated.
The President stressed that the United Nations must transform become the world’s foremost action co-ordination center.
“The poverty ravaging our continent and the question of security and counter-terrorism requires us to work in close and effective synergy.
“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 much 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,” the President affirmed.
The UN Secretary-General emphasised that the UN system was in the process of real reform that would largely address some of the institutional frailties and lack of decision-making power for the developing world, on whose behalf more than 75% of UN resources were being accrued.
The UN Secretary-General assured President Tinubu of the fullest support of the UN system for ECOWAS in light of the series of military coups occuring in the West African sub-region.
“Mr. President, we have high expectations for your presidency after the many bold steps you have taken. Nigeria is an indispensable voice in the sub-region. We will give you every support needed for your success to be achieved. Your success is Africa’s success and we wish you well,” the UN leader concluded.
Reporting by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Daniel Adejo