By Ismaila Chafe, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari has called on African countries and their Arab partners to work hard and be more united to realise common objectives.
A statement by the president’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, said that the president made the call at a bilateral meeting with the President of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas, in New York, United States, on Wednesday.
Buhari said the actualisation of the UN resolution, which proposed a two-state solution to the crisis between Israel and Palestine, required a platform to think creatively on how to engage the rest of the world on the matter.
“The rest of the world need to be apprised on current state of things between Palestine and Israel, in order to commit to the way forward.
“There should be a better collaboration between African countries on one side and our Arab brothers to get to the end of this matter,” he said.
The Palestinian president had visited Buhari to thank him for being a consistent supporter of the Palestinian cause, even as he reflected it in his (Buhari’s) address at the floor of the UN General Assembly, and to solicit his support by rallying other African countries to their side.
Abbas regretted that the Palestinian issue had dragged for a long time without commensurate progress, adding that “there is a daily loss of lives on the Palestinian side.”
He added that Palestinians had decided to pursue a peaceful path towards resolving the matter by relying on nations like Nigeria to help in a peaceful resolution of the “two-state” solution, as recommended by the United Nations (UN) Resolution.
Besides, the Nigerian leader met with Mahamadou Issoufou, former President of Niger Republic and Special Envoy of the UN and African Union on Joint Strategic Assessment and Governance Situation in the Sahel.
At the meeting, Buhari assured the special envoy of Nigeria’s support, in the discharge of his assignment bordering on seeking political and economic solutions to issues confronting countries in the Sahel.
He underscored that the essence of a collaboration between the Lake Chad Basin Commission and the Green Great Wall.
According to him, this is imperative in order to combat the desertification that is spreading across some African states.
He said that it would also help in finding practical solutions to the displacement of over 30 million persons, whose means of livelihood depended on the shrunken Lake Chad.
Buhari expressed optimism that with his wealth of experience and capacity, Issoufou would get the job done.
The former Nigerien leader had informed Buhari that his team required Nigerian support to raise funds for their activities, especially as desertification was spreading across a number of African countries.
He noted that most of the countries were severely challenged.
Issoufou said that the committee needed to visit the countries involved to know their specific needs and would, at this instance, be in Nigeria in October this year.
He requested Buhari to convene a side event at the COP 27 meeting in November in Egypt, so that it could come up with a rich outcome for the committee to use as a basis for its report.