Nigeria’s Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN, Samson Itegboje, told the UN General Assembly in New York that the Boko Haram terrorists no longer held any territory in the country.
He stated this while presenting Nigeria’s message at the ‘High-Level Meeting of the General Assembly on Peacebuilding and Sustaining Peace’ at the UN headquarters.
Itegboje said the meeting was being convened at a time when the global community was facing unprecedented threats, geo-political tensions, social dislocation, cyber attacks, threat of climate change and terrorism.
“Nigeria has had her fair share of these crises when, amongst other vices. Boko Haram insurgents annexed 14 Local Governments in Borno in the North East of Nigeria.
“However, on assumption of office in 2015 President Muhammadu Buhari ensured the recovery of the annexed territories. Today, Boko Haram insurgents no longer hold any territory in Nigeria,” he said.
He noted that Resolutions 70/262 of the General Assembly and 2282 (2016) of the Security Council on the Review of the UN Peacebuilding Architecture addressed the UN approach to peace, focusing on prevention.
The Resolutions also call for a broader concept, which encompasses peace building, that links peace and security with development, human rights and humanitarian action.
Itegboje said: “Nigeria is of the opinion that, while ‘sustaining peace’ should not be seen as an infringement on sovereignty.
“It should also not be used as a guise for the infringement on sovereignty of member states as the centrality of national and inclusive ownership of sustaining peace cannot be overemphasised.
“The emphasis on prevention is commendable and we recommend that the Peacebuilding Architecture should have, as a component, an Early Warning System that should be accompanied by an Early Action System”.
Itegboje said Nigeria had consistently been in the vanguard of supporting and participating in international efforts at conflict-prevention, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and sustaining peace both sub-regionally, regionally and globally.
He said since 1960, Nigeria had been an active participant in UN peacekeeping missions, deploying Military contingents, unarmed Military Observers, Military Staff Officers, formed Police units, Police advisor and Civilian Experts to over 25 UN Missions.
The Nigerian envoy also noted that Nigeria was the world’s 14th largest troops contributing nation to the UN peacekeeping operations.
According to him, Nigeria shares the view that the maintenance of human rights is critical to sustaining peace and has embarked on mainstreaming human rights into its security architecture.
“In this context, progress has been made in enhancing civil-military relations, establishing legislative oversight on the security sector in relation to defence spending, procurement and general budgetary matters.
“Efforts have also been stepped up to create a better partnership between civilians and armed forces,” the Nigerian envoy said.
He said Nigeria believed that ensuring the meaningful participation of women and girls in all areas of society was vital, adding gender equality yields greater economic growth and higher standards of living.
He added that women’s participation in peacebuilding helped prevent relapse into conflict and Nigerian was addressing emerging security issues, social gaps and ensuring substantial women contributions to peacebuilding and peace maintenance in the country.
Itegboje said the Nigerian government was tackling youth unemployment through interventionist programmes like N-POWER and an ambitious three-year medium term economic development strategy – Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
The Nigerian envoy added: “More importantly, corruption is being tackled headlong as it is seen as a big obstacle to the economic growth of the country.
“Nigeria will continue to support international efforts aimed at peace building and sustaining peace across the world.
“In order to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, we call on the rest of the world to emulate and join Africa in its ambitious program to silence the guns in the year 2020”.