UN Security Council Meets With Osinbajo

UN Security Council Meets With OsinbajoNigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has assured the visiting United Nations Security Council mission that steps are being taken to ensure that human rights culture is institutionalised in the Nigerian Military to avoid negative reports of human rights abuse.

Professor Osinbajo said this during a closed door meeting with the UN delegation at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.

He, however, noted that it was time for the international community to take another look at the international legal instruments and conventions that govern warfare and conflicts in the light of the unconventional and brutal operations of terrorists and insurgents around the world.

“We must, on a global scale look again at how to deal with these new challenges.

“We need to look at the governing conventions, as well as what type of legal categories and recognition of law we should give them.

“We need to re-examine how to deal with these individuals according to law,” the Acting President said in a statement issued on Monday by his spokesman, Laolu Akande.

He also assured the UN team that the Federal Government would progressively review the Rules of Engagement by the military and across the nation’s security system while taking human rights issues into consideration.

Professor Osinbajo added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s Social Investment Programmes which include the Conditional Cash Transfer, the GEEP Micro Credit scheme and the N-Power job programme would cater to the developmental needs of the northeast.

He said “we are already disbursing the cash transfers in some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps and host communities,” adding that the present administration was implementing a micro-credit scheme while using the Social Investment Programmes to resuscitate the local economies, including through the Anchor Borrowers’ plan for farmers.

The Acting President further urged the international community to support the Federal Government in the area of humanitarian response, describing the challenge as “massive”.

He hinted that the government was also in the process of passing a Northeast Development Commission bill that would deal with some of the long term developmental issues.

The Security Council members were led to the Presidential Villa by the UK Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Mathew Rycroft.

The team comprises of all the five permanent members and 10 non-permanent members of the Security Council.

Speaking earlier at the meeting, Ambassador Rycroft praised the Nigerian Government for its handling of the humanitarian challenge in the Northeast.

He called for a long term developmental outlook in the region to address the issues of good governance, human rights, women’s participation, economic revival, education and jobs.

The delegation is leaving Nigeria with a pledge that the United Nations Security Council would play its role well in assisting the Nigerian Government to tackle the challenges in the conflict zones.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geofrey Onyeama, said the Federal Government is pleased with the tour of the northeast by the Council.

He assured the team that Nigeria would leverage on it to access all the funds needed for the rehabilitation of the IDPs in region.

The meeting was attended by some members of the Federal Executive Council and top government officials including the Minister of Defence, Major General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama.

Others are the Minster of Budget and Planning, Udo Udoma; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jubrin; the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd), and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin.

Presidency: Kyari Never Used High Commission Funds For Medical Treatment In London

Presidency, Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, Garba-Shehu, High CommissionThe Presidency in Nigeria has cleared the air over the controversy trailing the treatment of the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

Spokesman to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr Garba Shehu, explained that Mr Kyari did not use the funds of the Nigeria High Commission in the United Kingdom to pay his medical bills in the European Nation.

He noted in a statement he issued on Monday that the allegations contained in a report published by an online news medium, were totally incorrect, misleading and a total fabrication.

Mr Shehu’s statement read: “The Nigeria High Commission in London did not at any time ever settle the medical bills or any other bills for that matter as Abba Kyari personally took responsibility for paying his own bills. This is by the Chief of Staff’s choice. He pays for his medicals, his taxi and accommodation in the UK, in spite of the high office he occupies, even when there is no rule that says he cannot be catered for by government.

“For the records, Kyari was rushed out of Nigeria for an emergency medical treatment on the fateful December 1, 2016. To receive him on arrival, the Wellington Hospital needed to have cash deposited, or in the absence of this, a letter of guarantee.

“In order to meet this condition, the Nigeria High Commission in London wrote the Letter of Guarantee to the hospital for treatment to commence. The role of the High Commission didn’t involve financial commitments on behalf of Kyari.

“The Letter of Guarantee from the High Commission was meant to meet the routine requirements of the Wellington Hospital since the patient in question (Kyari) didn’t possess the UK National Health Insurance.

“Apart from senior government officials, other reputable Nigerians are issued with such guarantee letters to hospitals. A guarantor is not liable unless there is a default, but this wasn’t the case with Abba Kyari who paid all his medical bills by himself as he had done on previous occasions.

“Hospital records are available for verification to show that the Nigeria High Commission in London didn’t spend a penny on Kyari, as its involvement didn’t go beyond the issuance of the letter of guarantee to the Wellington Hospital”.

 

Cameroun Will Support Nigeria Until War On Terror Is Won – Biya

CameroonThe Camerounian President, Paul Biya, has reassured Nigeria that his nation would support the war against the Boko Haram terrorist group till the end.

Mr Biya made the promise at a press conference held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

He is in Nigeria on a state visit.

The Camerounian leader also denied reports that his country had harboured terrorists and wanted to withdraw from the fight against Boko Haram.

On his part, President Buhari told reporters that he was grateful to the Chad Basin Commission, the Multi-National Joint Task Force and the G7 countries for the support they gave Nigeria in the fight against Boko Haram.

In a communique at the end of their meeting, they reaffirmed their continuous commitment to the fight against Boko Haram until they were finally exterminated from their countries.

They appraised the success recorded so far and pledged their readiness to work with each other in economic and infrastructural development.

The joint communique was presented by the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Nigeria, Mr Geofrey Onyeama and his Camerounian counterpart.

Cameroun like Nigeria is fighting the Boko Haram group which had infiltrated the nation from Nigeria’s northeast region, making both countries increase collaboration in tacking a common enemy.

Nigeria and Cameroun had on Tuesday signed an agreement on trade cooperation and conservation of the Benue River.

The agreement was the outcome of the bilateral talks between President Buhari and Mr Biya.