Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Nigerians react to Jonathan’s speech at the UN

25 September 2013, 07:32

Abuja - Nigerians on Tuesday in Abuja welcomed President Goodluck Jonathan’s decision to engage more countries to comply with the UN Arms Trade Treaty, amid concerns over use of illicit weapons in West Africa.

The global arms trade treaty regulating international trade in conventional arms was adopted in April this year and Nigeria is the first African country to ratify it.

In his address to the 68th session of the UN General Assembly, Jonathan warned that “unfettered access by non-state actors to small arms and light weapons’’ had sustained terrorism in the region.

“For us in Africa, these are the weapons of mass destruction,’’ he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Jonathan highlighted terrorism and piracy as menaces of “worrisome proportions” in Africa.

He reiterated his call for concreted international action to address the scourge of global terrorism, piracy and illicit trade in small arms and light weapons.

Prof. Chudi Umwazuruike, a lawmaker, representing Okigwe South Federal constituency, told NAN that “Jonathan’s speech at the UNGA could be described as incisive and to the point.”

“It demonstrated a clear grasp of contemporary geopolitics in its focus on the dangers of irrational terrorism as a global menace to be fought and destroyed.”

“As well as on the equally growing menace of international piracy so disruptive of global trade.”

He said it was pungent for the president to describe small arms as “weapons of mass destruction’’ for people in Africa, given that they had been used to foster insecurity and instability on the continent.

Uwazuruike also lauded the Nigerian president, who has addressed the annual meeting for the fourth time since he became president in 2010, for drawing attention to the crisis in Syria.

“Drawing attention to the looming Armageddon in the Middle East, with its collection of piles of dangerous weapons and tensions to match, was a statesmanlike concern.”

"An accidental explosiveness in Syria, Iran, Israel, Iraq and the other Gulf region states, could have grave worldwide implications,’’ the lawmaker said.

NAN reports that Jonathan had used the occasion of his address to condemn the use in Syria, of chemical weapons which are prohibited by International Conventions.

Jonathan applauded the current diplomatic efforts to avert further escalation of the crisis and urged all parties in Syria to end the violence and seek a negotiated solution.

He also challenged leaders to rid the world of nuclear arms and “push towards an international system that is based on trust, mutual respect and shared goals."

Also speaking to NAN, an Abuja-based public policy analyst, Chika Nwaozuzu said: “As a Nigerian, I would say that this is one of the best speeches of our president.”

“I saw a more organised, more relaxed president compared to what we saw last year and he also tried to bring in issues that are relevant in our world of today.”

“The issue of the post 2015 development agenda is important and he expounded on Nigeria’s leadership in the West African region.”

On Nigeria’s bid for a non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council, Nwaozuzu said it was instructive for Jonathan to announce before the world body that Nigeria had received endorsements from the AU and ECOWAS.

“The endorsement is a validation of Nigeria’s foreign policy thrust which is African integration and economic diplomacy,” he said.
In his reaction, Jake Epelle, the Founder of Albino Foundation Nigeria, expressed regret that the plight of Persons with Disabilities (PWD) was not mentioned during the president’s near 20-minute speech at the UNGA.

“Thirty-two million PWD in Nigeria was missing in the speech.”

“The president had an opportunity to draw attention of the world community to the plight of 32 million PWD under this year’s theme at the UNGA which is: Post 2015 Development Agenda,” he said.

He however acknowledged that government sponsored some PWD in Nigeria to New York to attend the summit.

“However, I cannot say to what extent they influenced the president’s speech at UNGA,” he said.

Epele described the president’s emphasis on the “eradication of poverty” as a major plank of Nigeria’s post 2015 development agenda as a “tall order”.

“When we say eradication of poverty, it is a tall order; reducing poverty is more of a goal that is achievable than eradication.”

“The UN has always focused on eradicating poverty through the years but at the end of each target they simply scratch the surface.”

“I think that the Nigerian government should focus more on judicious use of funds voted for poverty alleviation in the country,” he said.

-    NAN



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...