•Says separatist group is internal threat •Buhari healthy to lead UNGA delegation’
A head of President Muhammadu Buhari’s address at the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama has said Nigeria requires no international help in curtailing any threats posed by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) on Friday declared IPOB a terrorist organisation while Southeast governors proscribed its activities in the geo-political zone, its supposed base.
Onyeama, at a news conference at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday evening, said the threat from the self-agitation group would be handled internally.
“IPOB is, as of now, an internal threat and Nigeria does not need international assistance to resolve it,” he said.
He also said Buhari was ‘firing up’ and in an excellent shape to lead the Nigerian delegation to the UN General Assembly.
Onyeama said IPOB could not be compared to Boko Harm whose main aim is to capture territory and kill innocent people.
Besides, he said Boko Haram’s activities go beyond Nigeria following its allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, (ISIS).
The Foreign Affairs Minister said the position of President Buhari was that the constitution of the country should be respected.
Nigeria’s democracy, according to him, is still growing and requires time to mature and become stronger to handle some of the democratic challenges.
He said Buhari is “prepared to tell world leaders that the ingredients for a happy, peaceful country are good governance and a strong economy.”
He added: “If we can get the economy right and we can get the good governance to our people, we believe that most of our problems would be taken care of.
“We are a country of young people; the majority of our population is under the age of 35 and a lot of them are restless. They are restless because of economic opportunities and that is why we have the migration issue.
“A lot of the youth are the product of very bad governance over the years and that has deprived the young people of educational opportunities and job opportunities.
“So, Mr. President is trying to restructure the country to put in place the bases for good governance.
“Because once you have good governance and your resources are being channelled to where they are supposed to be, which is on development, then you begin to address a lot of issues.”
Reacting to speculations in some quarters about the president’s health and his ability to withstand the rigours of the high-level event scheduled from Sept. 19 to 25, Onyeama said: “President Muhammadu Buhari is in very good health to lead the UN General Assembly delegation.
“The president is in excellent form in every way possible. We had the Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday that lasted very long, beyond the usual.
“He presided over the Federal Executive Council meeting throughout. He’s now firing up and very fantastic,” Onyeama said.
According to him, there is no doubting the fact that the president would make the trip to the U.S. and participate in all the events scheduled for the country.
The minister stressed: “He (Buhari) will make the trip; you know the buzzword in the world today is ‘fake news’. So I think it’s a reality of modern journalism, may be because the internet, the cyber space make journalist of everybody.
“So all kinds of news filter through but the reality is that Mr. President will be here. He’s in excellent health and he’s going to be leading a very strong high-level Nigerian delegation.
Onyeama said that aside other high-level engagements, Buhari would meet with U.S. President Donald Trump to further strengthen the bilateral ties between the two countries.
The president would hold a lunch meeting with President Donald Trump along with other world leaders.
“The relations are good, so we just hope they would continue to be good and by all accounts, we are going in the right direction.
“What would be discussed are some of the global issues – trade issues with Africa, conflict in Africa, global conflict will also certainly be discussed,” the minister said.
The high point of Buhari’s activities would be his participation in the General Debate during which he would deliver Nigeria’s National Statement on Tuesday, the first day of the general debate.
News – The Nation Nigeria