Africa Under Siege, Buhari Tells Continental Leaders

added that must redouble their efforts to sustain the economic development of their countries, ensure empowerment of their youths, create more jobs, improve and upgrade their infrastructure, and continue the enthronement of a regime of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights and the rule of law.”

on Sunday June 14, 2015 took a critical look at the various challenges currently facing Africa and returned a verdict that the continent was under siege. Buhari made the submission in a speech at the opening session of the , holding in , .

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He said, “Our continent is currently bedevilled by the twin evils of terrorism and insecurity; poverty, youth unemployment and underdevelopment.

“The destructive effects of the inhuman and criminal campaigns of the insurgency in and the neighbouring countries; attacks in , and the activities of the in the Maghreb, all bear testimony to a continent under siege.

“The images in the international mass media of African youths getting drowned in the Mediterranean Sea on their illegal attempts, and often times illusory hope of attaining better life in Europe, is not only an embarrassment to us as leaders, but dehumanises our persons.

“Indeed, they combine to paint a very unfavourable picture of our peoples and countries.”

Buhari said African leaders gathered at the summit owed it a duty to reverse the ugly trend.

The President added that African leaders must redouble their efforts to sustain the economic development of their countries, ensure empowerment of their youths, create more jobs, improve and upgrade their infrastructure, and continue the enthronement of a regime of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

He said these and other measures that engender peace and stability must be pursued relentlessly.

Buhari said leaders must persist in their collective endeavour to work together through the AU and the respective regional economic communities to uplift the continent and provide Africans the enabling environment for the realisation of their legitimate dreams and aspirations.

He assured the African leaders of the unflinching commitment of Nigeria to the ideals and aspirations of the AU as explained in the Agenda 2063, which is geared towards ensuring a peaceful, prosperous and integrated Africa in the next 50 years.

He added that it was for that reason that Nigeria had been fully and irrevocably committed to the ECOWAS vision.

Buhari said, “We do so because we believe that African integration is best attained through the instrumentality of our Regional Economic Communities as the building blocks of viable continental institutions.

“Nigeria will therefore continue to play her part in supporting the African Union Commission and other continental and regional institutions in their efforts to prioritise African development in all sectors of human endeavour.

“The journey might look arduous, but certainly not impossible. There are opportunities in every challenge.

“If and when we adopt this call for a change of attitude, approach and disposition towards agreed protocols and commitments, we shall be bequeathing a politically stable, economically developed, and socially harmonious Africa, thereby justifying the confidence reposed in us by our electorates.”

The Punch



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