The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, has urged the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, to assist Nigeria in recovering its stolen money that were stashed in foreign countries.
The Sultan noted that the millions of dollars stolen from Nigeria were needed for the development of the country, pleading with the world body to assist with the recovery of the loot.
Speaking at a dialogue on democracy, human rights, development, climate change and countering violent extremism, hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Monday, Abubakar assured that the looted funds would be judiciously utilised by the Federal Government for the benefit of the people, if recovered.
He said, “My final appeal, Mr. Secretary-General, you are here in our country because you believe in Nigeria, because you believe in the present government, I would like to request you, how can you use your office to bring back all the money stolen from this country, and stashed in foreign banks?
“I believe in Mr. President when he said corruption is the worst human rights abuse in the world, I sincerely believe in what he said because corruption is the foundation of all bad governance, and all religious crimes being committed across the world.
“If we have corruption checked, we can’t eradicate corruption, but we can reduce it to the barest minimum, and if the money stolen and the countries know that these money did not belong to these people because they have not worked for such amount of money in millions of dollars, please see how you can help to bring this money back, it would be used for the benefit of the people. If you bring this money back, it will be used for the benefit of the people, please help us to bring this money back”.
The Sultan’s appeal was greeted with a resounding applause from the audience and a supporting line from the Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onayeikan, who quipped that “It is not only our money they should bring back, but also our girls”.
He also challenged the UN on the crisis in the Middle-East, which he said had been raging for ages, noting that political leaders had failed their people by not taking decisive action when necessary.
According to him, the two main religions, Islam and Christianity have no problems, but adherents of the two religions, adding that extremists are using religion to cause problems across the world.
Ban Ki Moon in his address, stated that he was in Nigeria to visit President Muhammadu Buhari and to ensure strong UN partnership with the country.
He also challenged African ambassadors among the audience to recommend to their countries, strong cooperation with Nigeria and the global body.
He stated that the UN has the ambition of ensuring sustainable development goals of ensuring gender parity, ending hunger and poverty and combating corruption by 2030.
The UN scribe stressed the importance of tackling climate change, noting that SDG may not be realised without addressing the phenomenon.
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