President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has urged the United Nations to focus more on helping Nigeria with the rehabilitation and reconstruction of persons and communities affected by terrorism in northern Nigeria rather than deploying an international force to the country.
Speaking at an audience with the special representatives of the UN secretary-general for West Africa and Central Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas and Abdoulaye Bathily, President Jonathan expressed the view that UN intervention in Nigeria should not be based on Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, which relates to military enforcement of peace, but on Chapter 8.
The president said that the provisions of Chapter 8 of the UN Charter, which recognises the role of regional bodies such as the African Union in working with the United Nations for the promotion of peace and security, were robust enough to tackle insurgency in Nigeria and other African countries.
President Jonathan also told the UN envoys that with the cooperation of neighbouring countries, the Nigerian military had already regained most of the territories seized by Boko Haram in Yobe, Adamawa and Borno states, and had now commenced a final push to take the last stronghold of the insurgents in Sambisa forest.
In his remarks, Chambas commended the president for his statesmanship following the outcome of the March 28 presidential and parliamentary election in Nigeria.
He conveyed the personal admiration of the UN secretary-general for Jonathan’s “exemplary leadership’’ with regard to the conduct of the general election in Nigeria.
“We are hoping that other African countries who are holding elections this year will learn from the good example of Nigeria,’’ the envoy said.
Chambas told the president that the UN team was visiting countries affected by the Boko Haram insurgency including Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
He reaffirmed the UN’s readiness to support the ongoing effort by Nigeria and other countries in West and Central Africa to end terrorist attacks against their citizens.