CHANGE IS HERE

CHANGE IS HERE

Friday, September 27, 2013

How They Looted Nigeria Dry And A Litany Of Abandoned EFCC Corruption Cases [Part 1] by Segun Dada


This expose is a product of many sleepless nights of research which was later abandoned but was rejuvenated as a result of a twitter conversation I had with my good twitter friend Toyin. As much as possible, it is my utmost prayer that this expose touches a nerve or two, engulfs the reader(s) in righteous anger to demand a change in the status quo from a system that not only celebrates corrupt elements but also vigorously protects them.
My first set of concerns arose when I decided to study the law that established the EFCC.
And even though I am not a lawyer or anything, I was shocked to see that it was so badly drafted and it seemed dangerously tilted in the direction where it could be abused. I suggest every well meaning Nigerian takes a closer look at the EFCC Act. It contains provisions that clearly conflict with the Constitution, particularly those provisions that relate to due process.
Also, the Act vested rather sweeping powers on the Commission in the area of law enforcement in general. Also, it was not quite clear how this Commission was going to interact with the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice. There seemed clearly to be a very poorly designed agency with no clear mandate or institutional structures in place. But at this initial stage, I was not worried too much. I saw some of these problems as the product of the rush and desperation of Government in search of solutions. Also, I paid a rather close attention to the provisions of Section 39 of the EFCC Act, which empowered the Attorney General of the Federation to make rules and regulations for any aspects of the operations of the EFCC. I was of the belief that with such rule-making powers vested in the Attorney General of the Federation, there would be ample opportunity for the Commission to be steered in the right direction and to keep it well situated within the institutional arrangements for law enforcement in the country, of which the office of the Attorney General is the key.
Since its establishment in 2002 and subsequent take off in 2004, the EFCC has taken corruption head-on in its fight against the social menace and has recorded some degree of successes in this respect.  For example, Chief Bode George was arraigned by EFCC alongside five other suspects (Aminu Dabo, Olusegun Abidoye, Adullahi Tafida, Zanna Maidaribe, and Sule Aliyu) on a 163-count charge (truncated to 68-count charge) that bordered on an alleged misappropriation of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) funds to the tune of N85 billion, and inflation of contract costs contrary to Section 22(3) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2000.  Thief (sorry, Chief) Bode George was however convicted and sentenced to concurrent term of two years imprisonment.  For this singular conviction, EFCC has recorded yet another impressive success in its fight against corruption.
The pioneer chairman of the agency (though accused at some point of helping OBJ witch hunt his political enemies) actually took the war against corruption to the doorsteps of perpetrators. He (Ribadu) instituted cases against former governors and public officials. Ribadu prosecuted and secured the conviction of the former Inspector General of Police, Mr Tafa Balogun, who pleaded guilty to eight counts of money laundering charges to the tune of N16 billion in 2005. He was sentenced to six months imprisonment. Same went for Alamieyeseigha for money laundering. He was convicted and released on plea bargain.
After Ribadu’s exit from the EFCC, the zeal to fight corruption went from 100 to zero amid the negatives.
Ever since, the corruption trials have not gone beyond the plea stage, some for as long as six years after first arraignment in court. Many ex-government office holders, who had been accused of corruption, are still walking the land free. Some of them are in the National Assembly making laws for the country.
What do I intend to show with this report? I intend to bring public consciousness to the number of the abandoned cases by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Let’s take a look at some of the top cases that have either been thrown out, a plea bargain reached or literally abandoned by the EFCC:

 Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello:
In April 2008, the EFCC began the investigation of Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello for receiving N10 million stolen from the Ministry of Health.  The former Minister of Health and the deputy were also on trial for stealing over N30, 000,000 from the Ministry’s unspent funds from the 2007 budget.  Although the Minister and his deputy lost their jobs, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello dramatized her case out of the court and eventually went scot-free. The court has maintained silence on the case. No acquittal, no adjournments.
Chimaroke Nnamani;
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on 10 August, 2009, sealed off the premises of Cosmo FM Radio Station, Rainbownet Nigeria Limited and other companies believed to be owned by the ex-governor of Enugu State, who later became a Senator of the federal republic.The properties were seized by the EFCC through a Lagos Federal High Court order in May 2007 following the indictment of Nnamani over alleged corruption and embezzlement of state funds to the tune of N5.3 billion.
After arraigning the ex-governor in court for prosecution, it appears the case had been stepped down because as at 25th September, 2010 there was neither conviction nor an acquittal.  Rather, the case is suffering prolonged adjournments and is still pending. He was a member of the Senate between 2007 and 2011.
Chief Onyema Ugochukwu;
The EFCC charged the former People’s Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate for Abia State in the April 2007 general elections, and former Chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Onyema Ugochukwu before a Federal High Court, Abuja for corrupt practices. Chief Ugochukwu was accused of corrupt handling of about N10.2 billion while serving as the Chairman of the NDDC.  The report reveals that the charges were prepared by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.  The charges accused Chief Ugochukwu of inflating contract value and making false statement in respect of N9.3 billion allegedly trapped in the distressed Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria; inflating of a contract value for the construction of a 15 kilometre road in Obehi-Mkpologwu from N250,260 million to N880,000 million; while the second count accused him of inflating contracts value for the construction of a road in Umuahia from N180 million to N462 million.
In the third count, Chief Ugochukwu was accused of furnishing of false statement in respect of N9.3 billion claimed to have been trapped in Societe Generale Bank of Nigeria, but which sum was said to have been disbursed by the former Chairman of NDDC while in office.  The EFCC seems to be handicapped in prosecuting these criminal cases that have been investigated.  There is seemingly an expression of reluctance in prosecuting the cases cited above.  This strengthens the speculation that the anti-graft agency is selective in its operations.
Saminu Turaki;
Saminu Turaki, former governor of Jigawa State was alleged to have misappropriated the sum of N36 billion from the State funds.  Turaki was also alleged to have laundered public funds of various values, an offence the Legal and Prosecution Unit of the EFCC states is punishable under section 14(1) (b) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004. Aminu Turaki argued that a substantial sum out of the N36 billion allegedly siphoned, was invested into the People’s Democratic Party third term project (Ploughing the seed of corruption back into party project depicts that government encouraged politicians to misappropriate public funds for personal interests).
His case with the EFCC is undecided till date. His bail was contested by the EFCC on the grounds that the former governor possessed multiple nationalities and could jump bail, if granted. Turaki had meanwhile secured the transfer of his trial to his home state. While the argument over his bail was on, Turaki won a seat in the Senate. He was in the National Assembly between 2007 and 2011.
Alao Akala
EFCC had arraigned Alao-Akala; a former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters and incumbent senator, Hosea Agboola; and a businessman, Femi Babalola, over alleged misappropriation of N11.5 billion. The EFCC had accused the trio of conspiracy, illegal award of contracts, obtaining money by false pretence and acquiring property with money derived from illegal act as well as  concealing the ownership of such property. One of Alao Akala’s co-conspirators is a serving senator of the federal republic of Nigeria.
Orji Uzor Kalu:
Former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu was arraigned on July 27, 2007 before an Abuja High Court on a 107 count charge of money laundering, official corruption and criminal diversion of public funds in excess of N5 billion. He approached the Court of Appeal to set aside the ruling of the Federal High Court that he had a case to answer. The appellate court dismissed the appeal for lack of merit and gave the anti-graft agency the nod to prosecute him. With the charges still hanging on his neck, the former governor is touting himself as a possible presidential candidate in 2015. He still strolls around till date not only as a free man, but as a self-acclaimed spokesperson for the igbo people.

Joshua Dariye:

Another pending case is that of former Governor Dariye of Plateau State, who was arraigned by the EFCC before an Abuja High Court on a 23-count charge involving the sum of N700million. He was granted bail, but he later challenged the jurisdiction of the court to try him. He argued that the alleged offence committed by him took place in Plateau State and the funds involved belonged to the state, and argued that his trial ought to take place in the state, not in Abuja. The judge dismissed Dariye’s objection, which prompted him to approach the Court of Appeal, which also threw out the application and ordered him to go and face his trial. While the case is still pending before the court, Dariye won a senatorial seat in the 2011 polls.
Jolly Nyame:
Former Governor Jolly Nyame of Taraba State was docked on 41-count charge in July 2007. He was alleged to have embezzled N1.3billion and collected N180million from a contractor as a kick-back from a N250 million contract awarded to the company for the supply of stationery to the state government. His case is still undecided six years later.
Dimeji Bankole and Usman Nafada
The alleged contract inflation by the former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole. He was arraigned on June 8, 2011 over a 16- count charge. Bankole and his deputy, Usman Nafada, were dragged to court over a 17-count charge alleged misappropriation of a N10 billion loan. However, the case was thrown out on January 31, 2012.
Ndudi Elemelu:
Former Chairman of House Committee on Power, Ndudi Elemelu, was docked over a N5.2billion fraud charge brought against him by the EFCC . Justice Garba Umar ruled that he had no case to answer, but the case is still pending at the Abuja High Court before Justice Adebukola Bolajoko.
Peter Odili:

EFCC began moves to swoop on Rivers state officials in late 2006 when it issued a report of investigation into the state’s finances in which it said over N100 billion was diverted during Odili’s two terms.
The report contained allegations of large-scale fraud, conspiracy, conversion of public funds, foreign exchange malpractice, money laundering, stealing and abuse of oath of office against the former governor.
To stave off impeding prosecution of officials, the then Rivers state attorney general went to court and got a perpetual injunction in March 2007 restraining EFCC from investigating the state government.
A year later, months after he had left office in May 2007, Odili himself went to court and asked to be made to benefit from the injunction and the court granted his prayers, making him perpetually immune from arrest, investigation or prosecution.
In October 2008, EFCC challenged the perpetual injunction at the Court of Appeal, but no judgement has yet been given nearly four years after, because of what a source close to the matter said was lack of diligent prosecution and official interference.
In the meantime, the commission had built a case against Odili and other officials, hoping to move in to file charges as soon as the injunction was lifted, sources familiar with the matter said.
But about two years ago, the commission dropped further action against Odili, and retrieved the case file from the lawyer handling the matter, because of what a source said were “orders from above.”
James Ibori:
On December 12, 2007, Ibori was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at the Kwara State Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja. The charges he faced included theft of public funds, abuse of office, and money laundering. These corruption charges brought against Ibori by the government of former President Obasanjo are among many begun by anticorruption czar Nuhu Ribadu against former officials of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party PDP.
Ribadu additionally alleged that Ibori attempted to bribe him to drop the charges with a cash gift of $15 million, which Ribadu immediately lodged in the Central Bank of Nigeria CBN. The cash remains in the CBN as an exhibit.
On December 17, 2009, A Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State, discharged and acquitted Ibori of all 170 charges of corruption brought against him by EFCC. The EFCC filed a notice of appeal against the December 17, 2009 judgment, and had begun a new round of investigations on the former governor following a petition by members of the Delta State Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders Forum, which was made available to the public in March 2010.
In April 2010, about three months after the takeover of government by Goodluck Jonathan, Ibori’s case file was reopened. A new allegation that he embezzled N40 billion ($266 million) was pressed against him. Attempts to arrest him were unsuccessful. It was reported that he fled from Abuja to Lagos and then to the creeks of Oghara, his homeland in the Niger Delta. It was reported that he has been guarded by armed militias and they once had a shootout with government security forces. He claimed that the charges were frivolous and that he was a victim of political persecution.
In April 2010, Ibori fled Nigeria, prompting the EFCC to request the assistance of Interpol.[15][16] On 12 July 2010 the Governor of the CBN, Malam Sanusi Lamido revealed that Ibori had used Delta State as collateral for N40 billion loan when he was governor. He was later arrested in Dubai and extradited to the UK where he is currently serving jail terms for money laundering.
Lucky Igbinedion
In January 2008, Lucky Igbinedion, a former Governor of Edo State, was declared wanted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on 142 counts of financial fraud. This concerns allegations that he embezzled $24 million (£12m) using front companies.
The former governor’s overseas properties are valued conservatively at about N6 billion. Some of the identified overseas properties include: Mansion in Cape Town, South Africa, numerous houses in Johannesburg, South Africa. The famous Kenwood mansion in United Kingdom (UK), valued at £3.3m and paid for in one day. Igbinedion did not only embark on a shopping spree, he also set up a vast business empire. His younger brother, Bright, is allegedly the overseer of his estimated N7 billion business in South Africa.
It includes the five-star Hotel Constantia along Airport Road in Benin Benin-City, managed by his wife, Eki Igbinedion. The hotel is valued at about N4 billion.
Chief Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before the Federal High Court, Enugu in charge No FHC/EN/6C/2008 on a 191- count charge of corruption, money laundering and embezzlement of N2.9b. In a plea bargain arrangement, the EFCC through its counsel Mr. Rotimi Jacob reduced the 191- count charge to one – count charge. The single charge read:
“That you, Lucky Igbinedion (former Governor of Edo State) on or about January 21, 2008 within the Jurisdiction of this honourable court neglected to make a declaration of your interest in account No. 41240113983110 with GTB in the declaration of assets form of the EFCC and you thereby committed an offence punishable under section 27 (3) of the EFCC Act 2004”.
The terms of the plea bargain were that the prosecutor would reduce the 191 – count charge to one – count charge and in return, Lucky Igbinedion will refund N500m, 3 properties and plead guilty to the one – count charge.
To be continued….
Segun Dada is on Twitter as @DOlusegun


Read more: http://newsrescue.com/how-they-looted-nigeria-by-segun-dada/#ixzz2g3PuPfEY

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

THE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY THAT GENERAL BUHARI FOOLISHLY MISSED.....STILL FOOLISHLY MISSING--MM


With regards to the politics and affairs of Nigeria, none of those who have made acquaintance with my FB activities over the years are oblivious of my utter disdain for the gross incompetence and ineptitude of President Jonathan..... as well as the enthusiasm and total commitment I displayed daily during the run up to the 2011 general elections in my unwavering support and fervent desire to see Buhari elected as Nigeria's President.

Unfortunately, the latter wasn't to be. And having witnessed GEJ's despicable performance in the last couple of years, even those whose venom paralyzed me the most for supporting Buhari during that election, have now conceded that they were flat-out wrong for backing Jonathan. I gladly concur.

However, I must say without any inhibition that I'm somewhat currently disappointed in General Buhari....NOT for what he has done or for who he is...as the selfsame endearing qualities that inspired me to his corner (a no-nonsense, principled, highly disciplined, anti-corruption crusader) are still prevalent in him, but for his inability to recognize and latch on to the golden opportunity that fell on his lap in the aftermath of the 2011 election.

If I were BUHARI, I would have instantly recognized the golden opportunity to turn my loss in the said election into a VICTORY that would have by now solidified my person in the hearts of tens of millions of Nigerians (including those who didn't support me in 2011) as the one to wholeheartedly embrace come 2015. 

A few candid moves out of SINCERE LOVE for country would have sufficed.

(1) If I were Buhari, I would have tirelessly exerted all efforts...even beyond the perimeters of my capabilities to help squash the violence that erupted in the North immediately after the results of the election were announced. 

(2) If I were Buhari, irrespective of the fact that I can't see eye to eye with Jonathan on many issues, I wouldn't have hesitated for a second to voluntarily lend my unfaltering support to the President and offer to partner with him in solving the nation's imminent security problem when Boko Haram escalated their violence after the election...especially given the fact that most people truly believe that I could weave an influence or two in Boko Haram's strongholds.  

(3) If I were Buhari, I would have used the last couple of years to privately enact one or more valuable programs of fundamental benefit to the downtrodden millions across the nation.....be it in the area of education, health care, transportation, electricity, water supply, etc; etc.

(4) If I were Buhari, I would have incessantly preached ONE NATION and actively pursue REAL UNITY between all ethnic and religious groups in the country. To this end, I would already have concluded  more than one GOODWILL and UNITY tour of the entire country by now...expanding peace, understanding, love for one another, accountability, true tenets of democracy, etc. 

(5) If I were Buhari, statements akin to "the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood" or any divisive utterance would have never emanated from my mouth. As a matter of fact, I would have done my due diligence to win the confidence of Nigerians from all nooks and crannies of the country, not only in WORDS, but in SINCERE and commendable DEEDS.

It hurts my heart excruciatingly that Buhari has not deemed it important to seize the golden opportunity presented by the series of depressing anomalies facing the nation to erase all doubts, convince the naysayers, and carry himself forth with the profound dignity of a true National Leader he ought to be. How foolish of him, how foolish indeed!!!

In 2011, I declared that "Buhari is the one" among all those vying for the coveted Presidency. All things considered, he was. But as at today.....looking towards 2015, and in a world where  standards in most things are consistently being upgraded and fittingly so, Buhari seriously need to elevate his game expeditiously if he's to have the likes of me drumming for him again in 2015. Assuming he runs that is!!!

FULL TRANSCRIPT OF PRESIDENT JONATHAN'S UN ADDRESS

President Goodluck Jonathan at the United Nations on Tuesday, September 24, 2013.
By Goodluck Jonathan
The President of the 68th Session of the General Assembly;
Heads of State and Government;
The Secretary-General;
Distinguished Delegates;
Ladies and Gentlemen
Mr President,
1. On behalf of the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I salute you as you preside over the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I assure you of the full support and cooperation of the Nigerian delegation.
2. I also wish to extend our commendation to the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and place on record, Nigeria’s appreciation for his focused and committed leadership of the United Nations system.
3. This Session is coming at a particularly trying period when our world faces a number of critical challenges which make it imperative for us to work within the Charter of the United Nations to meaningfully address them.
4. It is therefore apt that the theme, Post 2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage, signposts our desire and determination to actively cooperate for the improvement of the overall welfare and well-being of the most vulnerable citizens of the member-states of our Organisation.
5. Nigeria appreciates the consultative nature of designing the Post-2015 development agenda. Earlier in the year, we supported this global outreach through inclusive consultations and surveys of a number of Nigerians who have expressed their aspirations with respect to the world they expect beyond 2015.
6. A major highlight of this process, which has increased national ownership of the agenda, is the emphasis on the eradication of poverty as the overarching principle in the formulation of the successor framework.
7. Indeed, tomorrow, we will be hosting a side event on the implementation of the MDGs, in collaboration with the UN, a number of African countries, and our development partners.
8. As I had cause to say to this Assembly last Session, 2015 is not a destination but only a milestone to a better, safer, healthier and more compassionate world. Let us therefore renew our commitment to the processes that will develop the post-MDGs framework.
Mr. President,
9. This objective is of particular resonance to us in Africa where the challenges of poverty, illiteracy, food insecurity, and climate change continue to engage the attention of the political leadership.
10. The good news however, is that in the last decade, a sustained democratization process across the continent has made significant difference in governance processes, institutions and structures. Today, we have a renascent Africa that has moved away from the era of dictatorship to a new dawn where the ideals of good governance and an emphasis on human rights and justice are beginning to drive state-society relations. This is the present reality of Africa that must replace the old prejudices and assumptions about the continent.
11. We are firm in our conviction that democracy is fundamental to achieving the requisite stability that will enable the realization of a sustainable post-2015 development agenda in Africa.
12. This emergent Africa will require the continued support and partnership of the international community. An Africa that is no longer merely a destination for aid but one that is involved in constructive, multi-sectoral exchanges on the global stage. Our continent stands ready to continue to engage the rest of the world as a partner in formulating a global development agenda that will guarantee peace, security and stability.
13. I wish to express my appreciation for Nigeria’s selection as co-Chair of the Expert Committee on Financing Sustainable Development.
14. The importance of this Committee’s assignment cannot be overstated. For the post-2015 development agenda to be realistic, it must be backed by a robust financing framework which I hope will receive the strong backing of our Organisation’s more endowed members.
Mr. President,
15. Nigeria’s commitment to sustainable peace and security propels the country to action along with member states of our sub-regional and continental organisations, whenever stability is threatened in our continent. In recent years, Africa has had its share of conflicts notably in Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Somalia.
16. It is noteworthy that African leaders, with the support of the international community, have demonstrated the capacity to work in concert and decisively in pursuit of long-term solutions in the affected States. While a lot more still needs to be done, we are convinced that progress is being made.
17. The recent Presidential elections in Mali herald a new beginning that should translate into peace and prosperity for its people and provide a stronger basis for stability within the sub-region. I congratulate President Boubacar Keita. Similarly, the political transition process in Guinea Bissau holds much promise. Among African leaders, there is a greater determination and focus on the transformation of the continent. This is the required impetus for the achievement of development objectives
that will benefit the people, and rebrand the continent even more positively.
18. Although our world has not witnessed a global war since the establishment of the United Nations, there have been several conflicts with devastating consequences and impact in virtually all regions of the world. As global citizens, we have a sacred duty to free our world of wars, rivalries, ethnic conflicts, and religious divisions. Our collective effort in our drive for a better world will continue to bind us together.
Mr. President,
19. Nigeria continues to support the efforts of the United Nations in addressing the global initiative to combat the menace of the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons. We have redoubled efforts to address this onerous challenge within our borders and across the West African sub-region.
20. In doing so, we also recognize the need for a broad-based global partnership in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy. It is regrettable that these scourges are sustained by unfettered access by non-state actors to illicit small arms and light weapons with which they foster insecurity and instability across our continent. For us in Africa, these are the ‘weapons of mass destruction’!
21. It is therefore, in the light of our collective obligation and unceasing struggle to end this nightmare, that I congratulate Member-States on the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in April this year. Our hope is that upon its entry into force, the ATT would herald an era of accountable trade in conventional arms which is critical to the security of nations.
22. In line with our continued commitment to this project, Nigeria has signed and ratified the Treaty. We will continue to engage other Member-States for its successful implementation.
Mr. President,
23. Terrorism constitutes a major threat to global peace and security, and undermines the capacity for sustained development. In Nigeria, the threat of terrorism in a few States in the North Eastern part of our country has proven to be a challenge to national stability. We will spare no effort in addressing this menace. We are therefore confronting it with every resource at our disposal with due regard for fundamental human rights and the rule of law.
24. Nigeria will like to place on record its appreciation to the international community for its support in this regard. The reign of terror anywhere in the world is an assault on our collective humanity. Three days ago, the stark reality of this menace was again brought to the fore by the dastardly terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya. We must stand together to win this war together.
Mr. President,
25. Piracy, like terrorism, is another menace that has attained worrisome proportions, especially in Africa’s coastal waters. At the bilateral and multilateral levels, Nigeria has promoted cooperation to mitigate its impact and consequences on the security and economies of the affected coastal states.
26. Indeed, in June this year, the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission met in Yaounde, Cameroon, and came up with practical steps to collectively confront the menace of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. This effort will, no doubt, require reinforcement and wider support and collaborative action on the part of our international partners.
Mr. President,
27. The situation in the Middle East remains volatile. The reported use of chemical weapons in the Syrian crisis, is unacceptable. Nigeria condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the use of chemical weapons that are prohibited by International Conventions.
28. We applaud the current diplomatic efforts to avert further escalation of the crisis. We urge all parties involved to end the violence and seek a negotiated solution, including the instrumentality of the United Nations.
29. The threat which nuclear weapons pose to the survival of the human race is to be understood not just in the context of aspirational nations but also the nations already in possession of such weapons. Nuclear weapons are as unsafe in the hands of small powers as they are in the hands of the major powers. It is our collective responsibility to urge the international community to respond to the clarion call for a peaceful universe in an age of uncertainty.
30. We can attain this objective if we adopt measures and policies that will promote nuclear disarmament, protect and renew our environment, and push towards an international system that is based on trust, mutual respect and shared goals.
Mr. President,
31. I believe that I express the concern of many about the slow pace of effort and apparent lack of progress in the reform of the United Nations, especially the Security Council. We believe strongly, that the call for democratization worldwide should not be for States only, but also, for International Organizations such as the UN. That is why we call for the democratization of the Security Council.
32. This is desirable for the enthronement of justice, equity, and fairness; and also for the promotion of a sense of inclusiveness and balance in our world.
33. Our support for the United Nations Security Council in its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security has been total and unwavering. We have, in previous membership of the Council, demonstrated both the political will and capacity to engage in key Council responsibilities. Nigeria has therefore decided to seek election for the 2014-2015 Non-Permanent Seat of the UNSC.
34. I am pleased to state that Nigeria has received the endorsement of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union. We urge this august Assembly to endorse Nigeria’s candidature.
Mr. President,
35. Our world continues to be confronted by pressing problems and threats. No statement that will be made during this Session can exhaust the extent of these problems. The world looks to us, as leaders, to provide hope in the midst of crisis, to provide guidance through difficult socio-political divisions, and to ensure that we live in a better world.
36. We have obligations to the present generation, but we have a greater obligation to generations yet unborn who should one day inherit a world of sufficiency irrespective of the circumstances of their birth or where they reside on the globe. We must work to make that world a reality in recognition of our common heritage.
37. We must strive to eradicate poverty, hunger, disease and human misery; we must eliminate the scourge of nuclear, chemical, biological, as well as small arms and light weapons. We must dedicate ourselves to working together to address global, regional and national challenges and deliver a more peaceful, equitable and prosperous world for all. It is our duty. We must not fail.
38. I thank you.