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#EndSARS: COVID-19 worsened social unrest in Nigeria —UN

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The Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, said on Monday the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19 pandemic was responsible for the social unrest in many parts of the world, including Nigeria.

Mohammed, who stated this in a chat with State House correspondents at the end of her official engagements at the State House, Abuja, however, commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration over the manner it handled last month’s #EndSARS protests in the country.

The UN official had earlier on Monday met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House.

She later joined Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo to inaugurate the UN Plus Offer, a programme aimed at supporting Nigeria’s Economic Sustainability Plan over the next two years.

She said: “I have to say that there are a lot of protests around this world that has been exacerbated by COVID because, COVID has left people out of work, left people hopeless because of the socio-economic impact.

“And in many of those protests, we have not seen governments turn around in response as quickly as this government did.

“So, the UN response to this is that, we must make sure that what happened in these protests, we are able to address those issues, those gaps, and begin the reform.”

Mohammed, who is also Nigeria’s former Minister of Environment, reiterated the commitment of the UN to offer more support for Nigeria and other developing countries in order to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is a solidarity visit, first to the government and the people that we have to serve and accompany on various missions whether they are development, humanitarian, or political in the various UN offices.

“It is also one of solidarity to UN staff around the world that have remained on the frontline in the battle against COVID-19.

“COVID-19 is of course an unprecedented health crisis but unfortunately the side effects of some of the issues we had to do to suppress the transmission of COVID-19 had to do with the socio-economic impacts.

“So many, if not all developing countries are dealing with the socio-economic impacts of this virus,” the UN official added.

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