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Tinubu to Guterres: Human rights advocacy shielding criminals | We’ll now be aggressive

Tinubu to Guterres: Human rights advocacy shielding criminals | We’ll now be aggressive
September 21
16:34 2023

President Bola Tinubu says Nigeria will no longer tolerate injustice from wealthy nations masked as human rights advocacy.

According to a statement issued on Thursday by Ajuri Ngelale, presidential spokesperson, Tinubu spoke during a meeting with António Guterres, United Nations (UN) secretary-general, in his office at the organisation’s headquarters in New York, United States.

Tinubu told Guterres that wealthy nations are using human rights advocacy as a front to stop developing economies from dealing decisively with criminals who illicitly siphon the country’s natural resources in exchange for Western-made arms.

The president said such actions are enriching the world’s wealthiest economies at the “parasitic expense of Nigeria’s stability and wealth creation”.


“We are facing the great challenge of scavengers ravaging our lands and oppressing our people on illegal mines—taking our gold and mineral wealth back to developed economies by stealth and violence against Nigerians,” the statement quoted the president as saying.

“Where one’s human right ends, the rights of another begin. Most especially for self-protection.

“If we fight, they say ‘human rights,’ but we will now be aggressive and we will question motives. We will stop what is happening in our land. We require your effective collaboration.”


Tinubu asked the UN to reform itself from being one of the world’s foremost talkshops to discuss global issues into becoming an action coordination centre.

He urged the organisation to channel its resources into collaborating with the government to defeat poverty and uphold democracy in Africa.

“The poverty ravaging our continent and the question of security and counter-terrorism requires us to work in close and effective synergy,” he said.

“The world will ignore Nigeria at its own peril. If we engage in talk shops as real challenges wreak real havoc in real-time, we will fail. The time to strike is now. The time to achieve real results is now.


In response, Guterres said the UN system is in the process of a reform that will “largely” address some of the institutional frailties and lack of decision-making power for the developing world, on whose behalf more than 75 percent of the organisation’s resources are accrued.

“We now recognize the need to reform the institution to represent the world as it is today. The questions of debt and SDRs,” the UN secretary-general was quoted as saying.

“The fact that middle-income countries have only marginal access to concessional funding. In the SDGs summit, we believe we have a growing political consensus and now, a declaration, in this regard. We are pursuing this with great determination.”

Guterres applauded Tinubu for the economic decisions he has taken so far and assured him of the UN’s support.


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