Nigeria passing through crucial moment, says Ban Ki-Moon

The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, has said Nigeria is currently passing through a crucial moment.

He, however, said that he was happy to know that despite this, the country was facing all the challenges with the needed vigour.

The UN scribe spoke in Abuja when he held a meeting with Nigerian governors under the aegis of the Nigeria Governors Forum on Sunday.

He pledged the support of the UN to the desire of the leadership of the country’s leaders to move the nation forward.

Ki-Moon said governors also played pivotal roles in the country and the world, noting that they made policies and implement programmes for the people.

He said, “This is a crucial moment for Nigeria. And you have to take crucial steps to move the country forward. The United Nations is ready to help you. We have to work together to move the country forward.

“You (the governors) understand the peoples’ challenges and you have the power to help the people on education, power, development, institution building, security and others

“Nigeria occupies a pivotal place in the comity of nations. This is time of hope when we have a lot of challenges.

“I want to commend you for a successful election. Elections should serve as a rallying point for the people. But most often, it serves as a means of destruction but Nigeria has done well.”

He said he hoped that the governors would use the sustainable development goals for the development of their states.

While saying that local governments also play important roles in the implementation of the policy, he reminded the governors that no leader had the capacity of achieving this alone, and that leaders must carry the people along.

“No country or leader can do it alone. You have to build a relationship with the people to achieve your aims,” he said.

The governors in their welcome address, told Ki-Moon, that there had been no case of polio in the country for the past one year.

The Chairman of the Forum, who is also the Governor of Zamafara State, Alhaji Abdulazizi Yari, stated this while welcoming the UN scribe to the meeting with the governors.

He assured Ki-Moon of the resolve of the governors to eradicate polio from the country.

Yari said he was happy that the NGF was a product of the success recorded in the last general elections and that the governors had come together irrespective of party affiliation, to cooperate, collaborate and share ideas on how to bring development to Nigerians.

Yari said, “Let me reassure Your Excellency of the collective resolve of the governors to eradicate polio from our country, our states and local governments.

“In this wise, I’m delighted to inform Mr. Secretary General that since the last time you were here, Nigeria has made unprecedented strides in the fight against this scourge.

“In fact, this month marks one full year without any report of a new case of polio in any part of the country.”

He said governors and other stakeholders were already “working tirelessly through the instrumentality of campaigns, through vaccination, and the development of critical resources to ensure that by 2017, Nigeria will be certified polio-free.”

The Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, spoke on the challenges facing states, using his state as a case study.

The visiting Secretary General and the governors later went into a close-door meeting.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday play host to Ki-Moon at the Presidential Villa, Abuja at noon on Monday (today).

According to a media advisory signed by Mr. Oche Egwa on behalf of the Office of the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Buhari and Ban Ki-Moon will address a joint press conference at the end of their closed-door session.

Ban Ki-Moon, according to the statement, will later return to the Presidential Villa for a dinner to be hosted in his honour by the President by 7pm.

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