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I’m privileged to be Nigeria’s President, says Buhari

The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), on Friday in New York, United States, told African leaders that fighting corruption was no longer a choice but a necessity for the continent’s prosperity.

Buhari, who stated this at an event co-hosted by the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for Africa’s Development and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve as the AU Champion on anti-corruption since 2018.

He spoke at a high-level side event on ‘Food Security Response: Combating Illicit Financial Flows and Securing Asset Returns for Sustainable Development’, on the margins of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly.

He said, “As you are all aware, this will be my last official participation at the United Nations General Assembly as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“I remain honoured and privileged to be the President of Nigeria for two terms and I am grateful to the African Union for making me the continental organisation’s champion on efforts to eliminate corruption nationally and continent-wide.

“This fight is a necessity and not a choice to give our citizens a better life through economic prosperity, social peace and security.”

A statement signed by the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, to the President, Femi Adesina, titled, ‘At UN, President Buhari rues corrosive effect of corruption in Africa, urges leaders to fight it 24/7’, quoted him as telling fellow African leaders that fighting corruption was no longer a choice, but a necessity for the continent’s prosperity..

Buhari lamented that the continent remained at the far end of the global development index because of the effects of corruption.

He stated, “Over the years, we came to the painful realisation of how deeply embedded corruption has become in our countries and continent, as well as how corrosive it can be.

“Corruption has dwarfed our growth and tainted our nations and continent. Africa remains at the far end of the development index and concerted efforts made in the last few years need to be sustained, deepened by good governance and accountability that are guided by the rule of law.

“I have strong faith that Africa and our national governments can do this with strong resolve and commitment to eliminating illicit financial flows.”

He challenged his counterparts that for the continent to rise to its full potential, ‘’we must work tirelessly to get rid of corruption or by fighting it 24/7.’’

“Our national resources must not find safe-havens around the world. This fight is a necessity and not a choice to give our citizens a better life through economic prosperity, social peace and security,” Buhari added.

Buhari also told his Irish and Grecian counterparts that Nigeria was on the way to overcoming its security challenges.

“In the past few months, with new platforms and boosted morale among the security forces, Nigeria is moving steadily in the direction of overcoming its insecurity. We will continue to partner with nations across the globe, especially in the use of technology, so that Nigeria can learn something useful,” Buhari said during an audience with the Prime Minister of Ireland, Michael Martin.

According to a separate statement by Adesina, the President added that insecurity in Nigeria would soon be a thing of the past seeing the renewed efforts of the military.

Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, Buhari told Martin that the world was better off working together rather than independently.

This, he said, would enhance progress for humanity with the hope that the lessons from the pandemic would impact on other areas so that Nigerians and indeed the world could have sustainable peace.

The President assured his guest that Nigeria would continue to do its best to sustain the relationship with Ireland and improve on it, especially on the level of education, knowing that many Nigerians were doing well in Ireland, schooling and working there.

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