• meeting not official- Presidency

un-councilPresident Muhammadu
Buhari and the National Security
Adviser, Major General Monguno
(Rtd), were conspicuously absent
from a special United Nations’
session on Boko Haram held as
part of the U.N. General Assembly,
UNGA, on Friday.
Although President Buhari
travelled with a large contingent
to the UN General Assembly,
there was no representative from
Nigeria while other countries on
the fringes of the Boko Haram
insurgency attended the special
According to report monitored
in Abuja, the UN had held the
special session on Boko Haram to
ensure aid emergency to Nigeria,
Chad, Niger and Cameroun is
sustained by the global community
amid other humanitarian crises in
Syria, Yemen and South Sudan.
However, whereas Nigeria was
conspicuously absent at the session,
Chad, Niger and Cameroun sent in
representatives to the meeting.
Confirming Nigeria’s absence
at the meeting, the U.N. Aid
Chief, Stephen O’Brien lamented
the absence of Nigeria which has
the largest number of internally
Displaced Persons, IDPs, noting
there was no representative from
Nigeria to the UN event.
U.S. and European Union
diplomats said they were
disappointed that Nigeria did not
attend the event.
The Nigerian U.N. mission
was not immediately available to
comment on its absence.
A regional offensive by Nigeria,
Niger, Chad and Cameroon earlier
this year drove Boko Haram from
much of the territory it held in
northern Nigeria. But the militants
have since struck back with a
renewed wave of deadly raids and
suicide bombings.
“These (displaced) families are
being used as ammunition because
it is the children that are used as
bombers in markets and in train
stations,” said Chad’s Foreign
Minister Moussa Faki Mahamat.
“Trade is virtually wiped out in
this area.”
Several U.N. diplomats at
the event warned that the aid
emergency in Lake Chad Basin
risked being forgotten amid other
humanitarian crises in Syria,
Yemen and South Sudan.
Niger Prime Minister Brigi
Rafini said the region was in the
midst of a “genuine disaster. We
need massive assistance from the
international community,” he said.
“It is the population that has
shared with these refugees and
displaced people the little they
have while they themselves are
living in extremely vulnerable
The United Nations said some
2.3 million people have been
forced from their homes since May
2013, and a quarter of a million of
them have fled from Nigeria into
Cameroon, Chad and Niger, many
walking hundreds of miles.
“Droughts and floods hit the
region repeatedly. Malnutrition
and disease outbreaks hover at
emergency levels. Some 5.5 million
people do not have enough to eat,”
O’Brien said.
“The emergence of Boko Haram
has pushed them over the edge.”
O’Brien said U.N. appeals
for 2015 to help those displaced
people and refugees in Nigeria,
Cameroon, Chad and Niger were
all less than half-funded.
The United States on Friday
announced $6.8 million in funding
for regional aid efforts.
Reacting to report the presidency
said the meeting was unofficial
as it was not included in the
schedule in its possession. Further,
it claimed that it would have
been impossible for any national
delegation, no matter its size, to
participate in all the meetings that
are simultaneously happening in
and around the General Assembly
in New York.
A statement by Garba Shehu,
SSA to the President (Media & Publicity),
said that the war against
terrorism, improved security across
Nigeria and additional measures to
give succour to internally displaced
persons have been central to
discussions President Buhari has
had with other world leaders
since his arrival in New York on
Thursday night.
“This notwithstanding, it
must be realized that it will be
near impossible for any national
delegation, no matter its size, to
participate in all the meetings that
are simultaneously happening in
and around the General Assembly
in New York.
“The meeting at which Nigeria
was reportedly absent was not one
the official events of the United
Nations for which President
Muhammadu Buhari and his
modest delegation are in New York.
“While the meeting referred to
in media reports is commendable,
it was not the only one or the most
important of such meetings in New
York that are paying attention to the
problem of insecurity, migration
and violent extremism in the Lake
Chad area and the rest of the world.
“Anyone trying to create an
impression of dereliction of duty,
based on the Nigerian delegation’s
absence at an unofficial meeting,
is only being mischievous and
President Buhari is accompanied
by the Governors of Kaduna, Niger
and Cross River states. Also on his
entourage are former governors
Rotimi Amaechi and Kayode
Fayemi. The Senator from Katsina,
Hadi Sirika and a former member
of the House of Representatives,
Abike Dabiri, are also in the group.
Others on the plane to New
York include Major General
Monguno (Rtd), the National
Security Adviser; Femi Adesina,
the Presidential Special Adviser on
Media; Sarkin Abba Kalu, Special
Adviser Household Matters; Lawal
Kazuare (State Chief of Protocol),
Nura Rimi, Presidential Liaison
Officer; Lt. Col M. L Abubakar
(Aide de Camp); Bashir Abubakar,
Chief Security Officer; Sabi’u
Yusuf (Personal Assistant); ACP
Abdukarim Dauda, Dr. Suhayb
Sanusi Rafindadi, Chief Personal
Physician; and Ya’u Abdulahi,
Chief Detail

READ ALSO  APC offers me bribe to fight Fayose – RTEAN boss