The United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, has called for the unconditional release of the over 200 girls abducted in their school in Chibok, Borno State last year and other abductees of the Boko Haram sect.
Ban Ki-Moon made the appeal yesterday while addressing State House correspondents shortly after having a closed door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, as part of the activities lined up for his two-day visit to the country.
His call came the week the girls will be spending their 500th day in captivity.
He commended Buhari who he said had embarked on an agenda for change in which he was prioritising security and anti-corruption war.
He promised UN support for the President’s agenda, saying “When you change Nigeria, you have also changed Africa.”
Buhari on his part said they discussed the difficult time Nigeria had found itself during the meeting.
He said the step was taken so that the UN could assist the country.
He thanked Ban Ki-Moon for extending invitation to him to attend the UN General Assembly holding in New York on September 27 and 28.
The UN Secretary-General had earlier on Monday laid a wreath at the UN House, Abuja to commemorate the 4th anniversary of the UN House, Abuja terror attack.
The attack by Boko Haram on August 27, 2011 killed 23 UN staff while many were injured.
The Boko Haram attack on the UN House took place on August 27, 2011.
“We pay tribute to the 23 fallen colleagues, women and men who were so brutally stolen from us. We reaffirm our commitment to keep faith with their families.
“Our fallen colleagues and partners will be remembered this morning with moments of silence in many places.
“But nowhere are the memories of these colleagues more immediate, more vivid and more compelling than here in Abuja. We will remember them forever as truly the best of humanity.
“We join the families in prayers for the eternal rest of the souls of the departed and for long and healthy lives for the injured survivors”, he said.
Ban said he would meet with some of those who were injured in the attack.
“We also recognise the extraordinary fortitude and determination of the survivors, many of whom suffered terrible injury and trauma. I commend them for the courage that they continue to show in healing, and in working for a better world,” he said.
The UN scribe thanked the Federal Government of Nigeria for its commitment to rebuild the UN House “as a symbol of the resilience of our extraordinary cooperation”.
“The terrorists attacked the United Nations and destroyed many lives of many colleagues, but we have a mandate to build. We have a mandate to better the lives of people in need; to conquer hunger, disease and illiteracy; to promote respect for people’s rights, human rights, and freedoms,” he said.
The secretary-general also commended the workers for their resilience in spite of the difficult conditions in which they to work.
“I know you are working hard. I ask you to work even harder. You are the face of the United Nations. We are living in a period of frugality. I am asking you to do more with less, I am sorry to say so as Secretary-General. But be proud of your work, your mission, you are working for humanity.”
Ban expressed solidarity with President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to tackle corruption and ensure good governance, saying `this is a vital time in the history of Nigeria’.