President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday returned to Abuja after participating in the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the president’s aircraft landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 7.p.m, where he was received by top government officials including his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari and the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris.
The President, on Sept. 21, left New York at about 8.05a.m for JFK International Airport for his onward journey back home via London, United Kingdom.
While in New York, the president presented Nigeria’s National Statement at the UNGA and thereafter had meetings with President Donald Trump of the United States and the King of Jordan, Abdullah II.
Mr Buhari also met with the President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo and the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres.
The Special Adviser to the president on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had told State House correspondents that Mr Buhari’s appearance in New York was “worth the while” and immensely beneficial to Nigeria particularly Jordan’s donation of 200 armoured vehicles to Nigeria under generous terms.
He said Mr Buhari held bilateral talks with the different leaders on various areas of cooperation.
He also called for the cooperation of world leaders to facilitate the recovery of stolen assets.
“Through our individual national efforts, state institutions are being strengthened to promote accountability, and to combat corruption and asset recovery.
“These can only be achieved through the international community cooperating and providing critical assistance and material support.
“We shall also cooperate in addressing the growing transnational crimes such as forced labour, modern day slavery, human trafficking and cybercrime.’’
The president had also proposed a delegation of the United Nations to North Korea leader, Kim Jong-un, to pressure him to end the nuclear crisis which he described as the greatest threat to mankind.
Mr Buhari said diplomatic efforts must be brought to bear on North Korea to ensure a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
North Korea recently increased the pace of its nuclear weapons development in defiance of all entreaties to halt the programmes.
Mr Buhari said: “The most pressing threat to international peace and security today is the accelerated nuclear weapons development programme by North Korea.
“Since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, we have never come so close to the threat of nuclear war as we have now.
“All necessary pressure and diplomatic efforts must be brought to bear on North Korea to accept peaceful resolution of the crisis.
“As Hiroshima and Nagasaki painfully remind us, if we fail, the catastrophic and devastating human loss and environmental degradation cannot be imagined.
“Nigeria proposes a strong UN delegation to urgently engage the North Korean Leader.”
According to the president, the delegation, led by the Security Council, should include members from all the regions.
“The crisis in the Korean peninsula underscores the urgency for all member states, guided by the spirit of enthroning a safer and more peaceful world, to ratify without delay the Treaty prohibiting nuclear weapons, which will be opened for signature here tomorrow,’’ he added.
The president also drew the attention of the world body to the suffering of the Muslim minorities, the Rohingyas in Myanmar, accusing the government of that country of carrying out ethnic cleansing against them.
Speaking about new conflicts and the need for the world body not to lose sight of old ones including the Palestinian question, the president regretted the humanitarian situation in Myanmar which he said was reminiscent of the situation in 1995 Bosnia and 1994 Rwanda.
The President, in the statement, had also assured the international community of Nigeria’s firm and unshaken commitment to democracy in the country and the African continent.
He said this commitment to democratic ideals became profound with Nigeria leading ECOWAS’ effort in the restoration of democratic governance in The Gambia and Cote D’Ivoire.
Mr Buhari has since retired to his official residence in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.