It was an embarrassing moment for Nigeria as the government of the country was missing at an event centered around Nigeria’s Islamist insurgent group, Boko Haram, at the on-going United Nations 70th General Assembly holding in New York, USA.
The session, titled, Lake Chad Basin at A Cross Road: Addressing Urgent Humanitarian Needs in An Overlooked Crisis, held on Friday, September 25, 2015 and a high level government representative of the Nigerian Government was expected to be at the event which was organised by the United Nations Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and chaired by Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.
“The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors,” according to its website.
President Muhammadu Buhari is in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly with terrorism and global security top on his agenda.
Reuters reports that, “U.S. and European Union diplomats said they were disappointed that Nigeria did not attend the event chaired by O’Brien on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly”.
Nigeria’s neighbours, Chad, Niger and Cameroon were represented at this event.
According to a Nigerian participant, Bukky Shonibare, other participants at the event expressed surprise that the Nigerian government, which is the major victim of the Boko Haram war would choose to absent itself from an event where crucial talks on the humanitarian crisis left behind by the murderous activities of the Islamist terrorist group is to be held.
Bukky Shonibare, who is the group chief executive officer of The 555 Group, took to her Twitter page to express her embarrassment at the no-show by the Nigerian government. “Embarrassed hearing participants express disappointment that Nigerian govt wasn’t present @ ds BH-centred event,” she tweeted.
Her tweet also contained pictures of the order of activities of the event showing that a high powered Nigerian government official was expected to speak at the event.
See her tweet below:
— Bukky Shonibare (@BukkyShonibare) September 25, 2015
(Click on any image below to enlarge)
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari left for the UN General Assembly with a 21-man delegation, which has caused uproar among social media users in Nigeria, especially as all the governors in his entourage are from the Northern part of the country.
Editor’s Note: This report has been updated to include the office of the United Nations that chaired the event following attempts by the Nigerian Government to downplay the relevance of this event, following the backlash from Nigerians that greeted this story.