President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday appealed to the United Nations to support the rehabilitation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Nigeria, describing the rehabilitation as “urgent and imperative to prevent it from constituting a big problem to the country in future”.
The President stated this at the State House, Abuja, while receiving in audience the President of the 74th United Nations General Assembly, Nigeria’s Tijjani Muhammad-Bande.
“Most of the displaced children do not know their parents, or where they come from. We have to look at the issue now, properly rehabilitate them, otherwise, we will have a problem on our hands in the future,” President Buhari said.
He urged the UN General Assembly President to make Nigeria’s challenges glaring to the world, while commending him for what he called “your hard work and competence” so far.
President Buhari said Nigeria was committed to education, and providing health care to the young and old, among other welfarist policies.
Muhammad-Bande said he was at the State House to express appreciation to President Buhari for the support given, leading to his emergence as UNGA President, and the continued cooperation from Nigeria.
“Everything I have requested for, in terms of personnel and funds, has been delivered. I thank President Buhari very much. I also thank other member states for the support I am getting,” he said.
Muhammad-Bande also appreciated Nigeria for rebuilding the UN Building in Abuja destroyed by Boko Haram.
The UNGA President, while speaking with State House correspondents after the visit, however, hinged developmental prospects he could attract to Nigeria on the kind of cooperation he was able to obtain from other member states.
“A lot depends on what cooperation we are able to obtain from other member states, and I will like to say that the support so far has been very encouraging,” he said.
He commended Buhari for the country’s support for his election, adding, “Our focus is on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and a lot needs to be done in to the matter fast. Whether you are dealing with quality education or zero hunger, or climate action or inclusion.”
Also speaking on poverty eradication, Bande recommended global collaboration, adding, “It is not just national action, national action is key, but collaboration is also important and this is what we will continue to do.
“I also have the opportunity to participate in the opening of very important regional and high level meeting on the human rights situation of other people. This is a very important matter, not only its a bit clearly connected to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, it is also imperative that we not only affirm in word the dignity and wellbeing of other persons, but we must act through policy interventions to guarantee that the dignity and rights of other persons are guaranteed.
“This is crucial because more and more people are aging. In 10 to 30 years’ time or even less, probably 15 percent of Africans will be 60 and above. So, there will be a complete different picture and we have to plan how to guarantee the rights to all citizens regardless of their age and gender.”