Olabisi Kayode-Adedeji in Lagos
The United Nations (UN) Resident/ Humanitarian Coordinator, Edward Kallon, has commended Nigerians for their maturity and commitment to the unity and peaceful co-existence of all, in a constitutional democracy.
Penpushing reports that , Kallon who is the Representative of theUnited Nations( UN) Secretary-General in Nigeria, while wishing Nigerians a peaceful Christmas and a prosperous New Year in 2020, noted key milestones in 2019 that shaped the country’s match forward.
‘These included the 2019 General elections which, though far from not perfect, showed that Nigerians had chosen the path of Constitutionalism and legal channels in resolving political differences’, he said.
“With all the legal challenges to the elections now resolved, the governments, both at the federal and state levels can now focus on delivering on the mandates freely given to them by the people”,. Kallon stated.
The Humanitarian Coordinator noted that, key among the challenges the governments continue to face is the Humanitarian crises, adding that, with over 7.5 million people still in need of Humanitarian assistance in the Northeast, he assured Nigerians that the United Nations and its partners would continue to stand with them until a permanent solution to the crisis is found.
Penpushing further reports that, to this end, he re-iterated his call for a political solution to compliment the military effort in fighting the insurgency, stressing, “after more than ten years of fighting, it is now clear that a military solution alone is not enough’.
‘We must engage in a political process that involves all the stakeholders; community, traditional and religious leaders, youth groups, women, the security and political leadership must all be involved in a common dialogue for Peace. This, the United Nations supports, and as head of the United Nations in Nigeria, I will spare no effort in supporting.”
Penpushing also reports that, Kallon noted with satisfaction Nigeria’s leadership in advancing the discourse on Climate change and its impact not just in Nigeria, but across the Lake Chad Basin and the greater Sahel.
‘The United Nations will in the coming year work closely with the Nigerian government in finding immediate, medium and long term solutions to mitigate the impact of climate change and in finding a durable solution to the continuous shrinking of the lake Chad, which has directly affected the livelihoods of over 30 million people who owe their daily existence on the lake, either through fishing, farming, trade and other commercial activities’.
The United Nations chieftain urged the Nigerian government to pay much more attention to youth unemployment, while ensuring that women are brought into the mainstream of political and economic life of the country.
“Women and girls are critical to everything we do and in all facets of our lives. We need to stop abuse and discrimination against women and encourage and build their capacity to assume their rightful place in the governance of our societies”.
Penpushing reports that, Kallon urged the government to keep up the war on corruption, while ensuring equity and justice in its actions, and also implored the Government at Federal, State and Local levels to embrace, mainstream and invest in SDGs in order to drive the transformative change required to comprehensively address the economic, social and environmental challenges faced by Nigeria and the world at large.
‘It is only through the implementation of the SDG agenda that we will make good our collective promise to Leave No-One Behind and reach the furthest behind first’, the United Nations (UN) Resident/ Humanitarian Coordinator said