President Muhammadu Buhari left New York Thursday after participating in the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly to London, the United Kingdom.
President Buhari checked out of his hotel Millennium Tower New York accommodation at about 8.05am for JFK International Airport for his journey the London. President Muhammadu Buhari departs the US after a successful outing at the UNGA72 held in New York.
Recall that the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina had in a statement before the President left Abuja last weekend said that Buhari will go to London from New York after the UNGA. It was not clear what his mission to London is or how long the president would stay there but he had recently returned to the country from the United Kingdom after spending over three months there on medical vacation.
The president presented Nigeria’s statement at the UNGA and thereafter had meetings with President Donald Trump of the United States, King of Jordan, Abdullah II, President of Ghana, Kuffour Addo and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres.
While speaking to State House correspondents, Adesina said that President Buhari’s appearance in New York was “worth the while” and immensely beneficial to Nigeria particularly Jordan’s donation of 200 armoured vehicles to Nigeria under generous terms.
He said Buhari held bilateral talks with the different leaders on various areas of cooperation. The President had in his address to the General Assembly, he had called for the cooperation of world leaders to facilitate the recovery of stolen assets. Buhari said even though efforts were being put in through the strengthening of state institutions, accountability and combating corruption, the international community’s cooperation was needed to make it succeed.
According to him: “Through our individual national efforts, state institutions are being strengthened to promote accountability, and to combat corruption and asset recovery. “These can only be achieved through the international community cooperating and providing critical assistance and material support. “We shall also cooperate in addressing the growing transnational crimes such as forced labour, modern day slavery, human trafficking and cybercrime.”
The president had also demanded that the United Nations sends a delegation to North Korea leader, Kim Jong-un, to pressure him to end the nuclear crisis which he says has become the greatest threat to mankind. He said diplomatic efforts must be brought to bear on North Korea to ensure a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
North Korea has recently increased the pace of its nuclear weapons development in defiance of all entreaties to halt the programmes. Buhari said: “The most pressing threat to international peace and security today is the accelerated nuclear weapons development programme by North Korea. Since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, we have never come so close to the threat of nuclear war as we have now.
“All necessary pressure and diplomatic efforts must be brought to bear on North Korea to accept peaceful resolution of the crisis. As Hiroshima and Nagasaki painfully remind us, if we fail, the catastrophic and devastating human loss and environmental degradation cannot be imagined.
“Nigeria proposes a strong UN delegation to urgently engage the North Korean Leader. The delegation, led by the Security Council, should include members from all the regions. “The crisis in the Korean peninsula underscores the urgency for all member states, guided by the spirit of enthroning a safer and more peaceful world, to ratify without delay the Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, which will be open for signature here tomorrow.”
Buhari also drew the world body’s attention to the suffering of the Muslim minorities, the Rohingyas in Myanmar, accusing the government of that country of carrying out ethnic cleansing against them.
On the new conflicts and the need for the world body not to loose sight of old ones including the Palestinian question, the president regretted the humanitarian situation in Myanmar which he said was reminiscent of the situation in 1995 Bosnia and 1994 Rwanda. He had affirmed his faith in democracy, recalling ECOWAS’ effort in upholding the principles in The Gambia and Cote D’Ivoire.