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Yar’Adua addresses the UN General Assembly

Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Mr. Secretary-General of the United Nations,
Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations,
Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Prime Ministers, Deputy Prime Ministers, Foreign Ministers, My Royal Highnesses, Heads of Governments, Heads of Observer Missions to the United Nations, Permanent Representatives to the United Nations, First Ladies, Excellencies, My Lords Spiritual and Temporary, United Nations Employees, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

All Protocols Preserved

It is with great respect that I have asked my Foreign Minister, Mr. Ojo Maduekwe, to come before you at this 64th General Assembly and read this important speech.

I could not come to New York because of extremely important and urgent matters of state that required my personal attention.  First, I had to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in response to the invitation of the King requesting my august presence at the opening of a new university. 
I could not in good conscience turn that down because as you all know, university education is very important.  I had the benefit of a university education myself, and without doubt, it has been responsible for much of my personal success.  I wanted to lend the same support to the children of Saudi Arabia.

I know that many people have said there is a contradiction in this, as Nigerian universities are currently closed.  I say there is no contradiction.  If 50 universities are closed in Nigeria, does it mean that university education everywhere must stop?  Certainly not, and that is why I went to Saudi Arabia, with apologies to nobody.

The truth is that the people of Nigeria must learn to be patient.  Impatience is our biggest problem.  I came into office only two years ago, but already, people are complaining that I am not doing enough.  The trip to Saudi Arabia was not for me, but for the people of Nigeria, yet they complain.
I have told them I will declare a state of emergency in the power sector so as to conquer the electricity problem once and for all.  Still, they complain.

I gave them a new Inspector-General of Police so that they will feel safer.  Still, they complain.

I gave them a new Central Bank Governor so that the Naira will have more value.  Still, they complain.
I gave them a new C-G of Customs, but they call him a certificate forger, saying he never went to school.  Can you imagine that insult, my own friend a certificate-forger? 

This is proof that the people of Nigeria just like to complain and accuse others.  Even me, they say I am a sick man.  Ask Ojo, who is reading this speech to you, Am I sick?  Ask Turai, the First Lady of Africa, Is her husband not performing at the peak of his powers? 

This is why I want to caution you, the international community, about applying the same standards to every nation.  My nation is different.  They are never satisfied.  So when you say we must implement the Millennium Devaluation…I mean emm…Development Goals (MDGs), it is a critical mistake to include Nigeria in the list.  This is because our people always complain and will still complain.  We are developing already.

The problem is that the United Nations has led Nigerians to think that we must be in a hurry.  How can we lower poverty in Nigeria in just five or 10 years?  I mean, poverty has existed in Nigeria since time began.  And you people think we can just tell poverty to leave, just like that?

It is not possible.  We must take these things one at a time.  My People’s Democratic Party (PDP) is working hard to deal with poverty the only way that is meaningful: by creating millionaires among party members.  If you look at the PDP, you will see that poverty among its members is going down.  We give them access to budget allocations at the federal and state levels; we give them fat contracts; we protect any members that may be er…er…misunderstood by the law abroad or by overzealous government agencies at home.  What this means is that if Nigerians want to conquer poverty, the easiest formula has nothing to do with the Millennium Depreciation…I mean, emm…Development Goals, but to join the PDP.

In any event, I must be frank with all of you.  The Minimum Development Goals are not realistic at all.  While I respect all of you, I do not know which of you came up with such outlandish ideas such as ending poverty and hunger. 

Yes, it is possible to end poverty within the PDP by spreading the national cake, because we are the party in power.  But that is not the same thing as ending hunger.  We do not see hunger as a problem, but as the will of God.  I have never been hungry all my life, because God loves me.  My children are never hungry because God loves them.  Any of you that saw me in Saudi Arabia last week must have seen me with two rich men, state governors in my country.  They are also my sons-in-law.  I have guaranteed that my daughters and my grandchildren will never be hungry by giving them to such men in marriage. 

But there is something else about hunger.  It is a natural order, and I do not think I should interfere with the natural order.  Some people will be rich and prosperous; others will be poor and pathetic.  That gives them something to aspire to; if you wipe out hunger as the UN says, all those poor people will become just like us.  I don’t think that is what God wants, for everyone to be happy and well-fed.  What will be the difference between them and us?  That is why this so-called battle against hunger has no priority with me, and I have told Nigerians it will not happen in my time.  We cannot implement the MDGs as it relates to hunger.

Mr. President,
The same concern applies to such concepts as universal education, gender equality, and combating HIV & AIDS.  Why should education be universal?  It makes no sense.  That means that there will be more Nigerians trying to assert their rights or to challenge the PDP.
To me, that is a prescription for chaos, and I don’t want to have to send out soldiers or “Kill & Go” to wipe out educated militants.  Education should be for those who need it, such as rich families and royalty, to enable them protect their property and tradition.  Can you see all the trouble that lawyers and journalists cause?  And why do we need scientists and engineers when we can always get some from Germany, the UK or Saudi Arabia?

And one of the things that make me the angriest is when I am told that the United Nations wants gender equality.  Equality?  So men and women will enjoy the same rights?  That is scandalous.  Women are inferior people, and their job is to look after their husbands and children.  That is why I do not mind giving my daughters to men that already have many wives.  Apart from the First Lady of Africa, my dear Turai, women are dispensable, and are worth far less than all the trouble they manufacture.  Just ask Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan.

And why should HIV & AIDS be my problem?  I did not cause it, and I should not have to be concerned with it.  I believe that health is a private matter, and anyone who contracts HIV should deal with it himself or herself.  There are hospitals in Germany and Jeddah that can cure emm…emm…anything.  If you are in the PDP you will get enough contracts to go there and get the best treatment on earth, but I should not be asked to face the problem as national leader.
I am being frank, Mr. President, a quality that is missing here at the United Nations.  You people even went and put child health and maternal health on the Minimum Development Goals.  Child health and maternal health are not problems in Nigeria.  Ask Ojo: All our children and pregnant women are healthy.

In any case, even if they have problems, it is the responsibility of the parents of a child or the husband of a woman to take care of them.  That is why we have good hospitals in Nigeria: to take care of health problems.  Why did the United Nations find it necessary to dabble in issues like this, instead of its real job?

The real job of the United Nations is peace on earth…I mean, international peace and security.  That is why Nigeria wants to be a permanent member of the Security Council, armed with the power of veto.  As the giant of Africa, Nigeria is capable of bringing peace and security to every corner of the world. 

That is why I have asked Ojo to do whatever is necessary to ensure Nigeria becomes a permanent member.  We have the money.  We have the oil.  We have peacekeepers, 27 of whom are now in jail for not being disciplined.  I have been told we may even have a lot of diamonds.  We have the police…I mean, political will.  We have the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, who was with Ojo here last year.  He is a fine lawyer. 

And I am ready to lead.  I am healthy.  Despite the rumours, I am not a weakling.  You will see what I will do in the Security Council. 
It is equally important to remind you all that this is a wonderful time for us in Nigeria.  Nigeria turns 50 this week, an excellent country that has been misunderstood for so long.
One of the reasons we have been misunderstood for so long is that we permitted other people to call us names.  That will not happen any more.  Our Rebrand Nigeria scheme is now in motion, and our Minister for Information, a very persuasive woman, will soon be coming to as many as 150 countries to tell you what a wonderful country Nigeria is.  Did you see how we crushed Sony Corporation recently?  They dared air an offensive advert, and we made them apologize.  Did you see what we did with the movie “District 9”?  It made us look bad, so we banished it from our borders. 
Actually, it was Ojo himself who announced our foreign policy thrust two years ago: you mess with Nigeria, and Nigeria will mess with you.  If you say Nigeria has no water, we will buy water and pour on you.  If you say Nigerians are not educated, we will show you a Nigerian that has won a Nobel Prize, or one that is a Special Representative of the Secretary General, my predecessor, the illustrious Obasanjo (not Obesanjo as they called him in “District 9.”)   If you dare say a former governor of a state is guilty of corruption, we will show you that cannot be true; those former governors are my personal friend.  How can a friend of the President be guilty of anything?

As Nigeria celebrates its 50th year of independence this week, we remind you we are the happiest nation on earth.  I am going to make a big speech telling Nigerians to learn to be grateful and not to be impatient.  Rome was not built during the day.   

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am not sorry that I am not personally present at the GA this year.  Yes, I know you had High Level Summits Nigeria could not participate in, such as the Food Security Summit, the Climate Change Summit, and the formation of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance. 

What I do not understand is why people are so disappointed I was not there.  Nigeria does not lack food at all (so why do we need a food summit?); our climate has not changed since independence, and we have M & B for treating malaria. 

In any case, last year I missed the High Level Meeting on Africa’s Development Needs and the High Level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals.  What is the big deal?  These are all just Summits about development, and we should not take them too seriously.   We cannot be talking about development and progress all the time.  Is there nothing else?  That is why, in the PDP, we avoid these subjects. 

For instance, Ojo that is delivering this address came to the General Assembly from Brazil.  And while you have all been talking about development and change, life and liberty, he left New York for Venezuela.  In between, he has planned private trips to Boston and other places.  Yet he is here to deliver this address.  That is the lesson we in the PDP can teach the world: government is for those that govern!

Finally, I would like to invite you all to Abuja for our 50th independence on Thursday and throughout the weekend.  Come to Aso Rock and see why they say Nigerians are the happiest people on earth.  You will also see that we are a very forgiving people, because some of our nation’s so-called corrupt former governors will be there.  I have forgiven them. 

I suggest you plan for a couple of days of incredible merriment in Abuja.  And then you can return to the General Assembly and let the talking continue.  I assure you, the people of Nigeria will not complain.  And neither will I. 

I will make you one promise.  It is still a long way away, but next year, I will come to the General Assembly.  I understand the Secretary General wants to discuss the MDGs.  I will come and tell you all why the MDGs are a waste of time.  In its place, I will present you all with an incredible plan, a seven-point killer plan.
I thank you.


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