President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday in New York called for action against the spread of xenophobic and other inciting messages being fuelled by social media, which in turn encourage mass killings.
Presenting the country’s National Statement as the fifth speaker on the first day of the General Debate during the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA74), President Buhari called on major tech companies to be alive to their responsibilities.
“They cannot be allowed to continue to facilitate the spread of religious, racist, xenophobic and false messages capable of inciting whole communities against each other, leading to loss of many lives. This could tear some countries apart,” he said.
The President also warned “international criminal groups” with the intent of defrauding Nigeria to beware of the country.
“We are giving notice to international criminal groups by the vigorous prosecution of the P&ID scam attempting to cheat Nigeria of billions of dollars,” he warned.
Buhari stated that his administration is facing the challenges of corruption “head-on”.
He called for eradication of poverty as it has proven to be the major source of criminality and terrorism all over the world.
“No threat is more potent than poverty and exclusion. They are the foul source from which common criminality, insurgency, cross-border crimes, human trafficking and its terrible consequences draw their inspiration,” he said.
Describing poverty “as one of the greatest challenges facing our world,” Buhari noted that, “Its eradication is an indispensable requirement for achieving sustainable development”.
He also highlighted his administration’s efforts to overcome the challenge.
“In this regard, Nigeria has developed a National Social Investment Programme – a pro-poor scheme that targets the poorest and most vulnerable households in the country.
“Under this initiative easy, access to financial services are facilitated to our traders, artisans, market women and co-operative societies. This type of initiative can help lessen and eventually eliminate mass poverty in Africa.
“At the core of our efforts to build an inclusive society, our programmes are focused on youth and women empowerment. These programmes aim at ensuring women and youth participation in governance, industry, climate action and agriculture,” the President said.
On the 2019 presidential elections, he said “our people backed the politics of tolerance, inclusion and community over the politics of protest and division.”