By Donald Ugwu
The Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday called for the review of international conventions and legal instruments that govern warfare and conflicts.
He said this during a meeting he hosted with members of the United Nations Security Council who were on a visit to the country.
Osinbajo said the request was in the light of the very unconventional and brutal operations of terrorists and insurgents around the world today.
“We must, on a global scale look again at how to deal with these new challenges.
“We need to look at the governing conventions, what type of legal categories, and recognition of law we should give them (to the perpetrators of terror and insurgents).
“We need to re-examine how to deal with these individuals according to law,” Osinbajo, a law professor said.
The acting president gave the assurance that the Nigerian government would progressively review the rules of engagement by the military and across the nation’s security system and take into considerations human rights issues.
Osinbajo added that the Buhari Social Investment Programmes including the Conditional Cash Transfer, the GEEP Micro Credit scheme and the N-Power job programme would cater to the developmental needs of the Northeastern parts of the country affected by insurgency.
“We are already disbursing the cash transfers in some IDP camps and host communities,” he said.
He added that the Buhari administration was also implementing a micro-credit scheme including the Anchor Borrowers’ plan for farmers and Social Investment Programmes to resuscitate local economies.
Osinbajo urged the international community to support Nigeria in the area of humanitarian response, describing the challenge as “massive.”
He disclosed that the government was also in the process of passing a Northeast Development Commission Bill to deal with some of the long term developmental issues.
The UN Security Council members were led by the UK’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador. Mathew Rycroft.
In attendance were all the five permanent members and the 10 non-permanent members of the Council .
Ambassador Rycroft praised the Nigerian government for its handling of the humanitarian challenge in the Northeast.
He called for a long term developmental outlook in the region to address issues of good governance, human rights, women’s participation, economic revival, education and jobs.
Some members of the Federal Executive Council and top officials of the FG also attended the meeting.
They include the Minister of Defence, Major-General Mansur Dan-Ali, Rtd; Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama; Budget and Planning Minister, Sen. Udoma Udo Udoma; and Water Resources Minister Suleiman Adamu.
Others were Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jubrin; the National Security Adviser, Major-Gen. Babagana Monguno Rtd, and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin.
Onyeama later acknowledged that the country would expect greater international support in the fight against terrorism in the country.
He gave the indication while addressing State House Correspondents after the UN delegation held talks with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House.
Onyeama noted that the mission observed that the crisis in Nigeria was neglected because a lot of attention was focused on other crises in other parts of the world.
“One of the points they made was that it was a neglected crisis and the attention of the world is focused on so many other crises in the world whereas this one is actually one of the biggest humanitarian calamities that we are experiencing in the world today.
“That was extremely important visit because they have been able to see at first hand exactly how things are.
“I think it is also important because a number of countries were feeling that Nigeria could be and should be doing more.
“But I think that this visit has shown that we are at the forefront addressing these challenges,’’ he said.
The minister said that the UN identified the security and humanitarian challenges as well as on the governance issues or the human right issues.
Onyeama said that the UN acknowledged that they were briefed by the theatre commander in Maiduguri on the security issues and they were extremely impressed with the very lucid exposition that he gave.
He said the UN delegation noted that they saw the resolve of the military which could secure the buy-in and the support of the international community with the security challenges with respect to intelligence sharing and others.
The minister said the UN saw the calamity in the North East and noted that the country was spending about $2 billion to tackle the humanitarian crisis.
He mentioned the Oslo donor conference held in Oslo where at least $700 million was raised for same purpose.