President Buhari has warned that Africa risks the attainment of the goals continental leaders have set for the region by 2063 due to the challenges facing the continent.
He noted that strong unity of purpose amongst member-states could propel the much-desired goals.
The President said that Africa’s security and development landscape had undergone significant transformation over the past decades, compelling the continent to face increased, diverse, and complex threats, including climate change, the scourge of terrorism, violent extremism, transnational organised crimes, ideological radicalisation, and recently, an upsurge in Unconstitutional Change of Governments, UCGs.
“It is clearly evident that these developments negatively impact national, regional and continental stability and undermine our drive towards achieving AU Agenda 2063 and our flagship project ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa’, as well as the Sustainable Development Goals SDGs. That is why we must continue to act collectively, in unity and solidarity in our fight against these threats.”
He called on member-states to ensure that inclusive governance, constitutionality, as well as strengthening of African Union mediating support mechanisms and conflict prevention mechanisms were emplaced as a panacea to emerging intra and interstate resurgence of conflicts in Africa.
“As leaders, we must recommit ourselves to shared values, vision, unity and solidarity, particularly in upholding constitutionalism, democracy and good governance. We must also embrace a multidimensional approach in order to achieve peace, security and sustainable development, in line with our aspirations contained in Agenda 2063,” President Buhari said.
President Buhari, said while many countries in Africa had conducted successful elections, drastic actions had also been taken in cases of unconstitutional regime changes, commending the improved harmony between the African Union Commission and the United Nations.
“As you may be aware, a number of successful national elections that facilitated peaceful political transitions across the continent have been held. Equally, military coups have been condemned and rejected, with the restoration of constitutional order in some countries and the suspension of four (4) Member States from the activities of the African Union.
“There is now improved coordination between the African Union Commission, the United Nations and various foreign partners leading to the adoption of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 2457 (2019), an embodiment of the commitment of the international community to complement Africa’s efforts to silencing the Guns on the continent.
“The need to continue strict implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty, Arms Embargoes, including other relevant regional and international instruments to complement and consolidate the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA) cannot be over-emphasized. Equally important is the need to ensure the harmonization of the African Peace and Security Architecture and the African Governance Architecture (AGA).
Reiterating the commitment of the Nigerian government towards good governance as well as the collective fight against terrorism and the humanitarian challenges arising therefrom, the President said Nigeria had replicated those realities, particularly in the Lake Chad Basin Region, where the required Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, were being given the needed support to fight terrorism, aimed at dealing with the impact of climate change and other humanitarian challenges.
“In addition, my government has made it a priority to conduct violence-free elections in the 2023 general elections in Nigeria. As highlighted in my Independence Day remarks on 1st October, 2022;.
I should like to reiterate, that no matter what gains we make, without good governance anchored on credible elections that are free, fair, credible and transparent, our development efforts would remain futile and our citizenry would be worse off.
It is for this reason that I have resolved to bequeath a sustainable democratic culture, which will remain a lasting legacy. The signing of the Electoral Act 2021, as amended, with landmark provisions, further assures us of a more transparent and inclusive electoral process.”
Reporting by Abdullah Bello; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade; editing by Julian Osamoto