“The world has not forgotten us”: Nigerian Buhari thanked the head of the UN for his visit amid the war in Ukraine

Guterres, who is visiting Nigeria for the first time in his capacity as secretary general, said he came to Nigeria “to express my solidarity with the victims of terrorism,” his office said in a statement.

Buhari received Guterres at the presidential villa in the capital Abuja on Wednesday, where he thanked the UN for supporting the country’s fight against terrorism.

The Nigerian leader was concerned that the war in Ukraine could divert the world’s attention to the war on terrorism, but said Guterres’ visit showed that “the world has not forgotten us,” according to statement released on Wednesday by Buhari’s special adviser Femi Adesina.

Nigeria is grappling with years of fighting against Islamist groups that have left thousands dead and millions displaced in the country’s northern region. Boko Haram militants and their supporters continue to launch vicious attacks across the region in search of control.

Sambisa, a vast forest reserve in northeastern Nigeria’s Borno state, has served as a safe haven and stronghold for Boko Haram militants, whose infamous activities have killed more than 37,000 people and displaced more than 2 million people since 2011. according to from the Council on Foreign Relations.

“When we took office, the Northeast was the main security issue that we inherited in 2015, but we were able to make people understand that you can’t kill people and shout “Allah Akbar”,” Bukhari said, according to a statement on Wednesday. referring to an Arabic phrase often translated as “God is greater”.

“Either you don’t understand what you’re saying, or you’re just stupid. God is a God of justice, so you can’t kill people and say God is great. Fortunately, people understood our message and it had a big impact. ,” he added.

On Tuesday, Guterres visited the state of Borno.

During a visit to a UN-supported reintegration center for former rebels, the UN chief said he was pleased with the willingness of surrendered terrorists to reintegrate into society.

“I was amazed to see today in the center that those who were terrorists want to integrate into society and contribute to it. The policy pursued here is a policy of reconciliation and reintegration,” he said at the center.

More than 35,000 rebels and their commanders, according to the Borno state government surrendered the authorities.

Guterres also spoke about his interactions with displaced people in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) I visited Maiduguri, where the United Nations is supporting internally displaced people. I was deeply moved by their stories and struggles. This includes fighting hunger when the World Food Program predicts that 4.1 million people living in northeast Nigeria will experience food insecurity in the coming off-season,” he said.

“But despite everything they have seen and experienced, the people I have met remain hopeful and determined to return to their communities and rebuild their lives.”

According to Guterres, the UN has proposed to increase funding for Nigeria’s humanitarian aid.

The visit took place almost 11 years after explosion of the UN building in the Nigerian capital, which killed 23 people, including UN staff, more than 60 were injured.

Before going to Nigeria, Guterres visited Senegal and Niger.

In Niger, the UN boss called for more funding help fight terrorism in the African region of the Sahel, where the number of terrorist attacks is on the rise.
During his visit to SenegalGuterres stressed the impact of the war in Ukraine on the economies of developing countries.

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