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World leaders pledge support for Nigeria’s anti-terror war


Boko Haram members
Some world leaders on Thursday in Abuja pledged their support for  Nigeria’s   fight against terrorism.
They gave the pledge during  an  international conference on ‘Human security, peace and development: An Agenda for 21st Century Africa”, organised by Nigeria to mark the 100 years of amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorates.
 The leaders who condemned the killing of many students of the Federal Government College, Buni Yadi, in Yobe State by Boko Haram, said an indivisible Nigeria would make the Africa continent  stronger.
The President of the European Union Commission, Mr. Jose Barroso, said the amalgamation had made Nigeria one of the most powerful and vibrant African nations in the world.
 He blamed the conflicts in Africa on poverty, bad governance, denial of human rights and lack of rule of law.
 “They can also stem from corruption, lack of accountability in political governance, exclusion and marginalisation of social and ethnic groups and lack of prosperity for the young people”, he said.
 Stating   that there was a link between insecurity, poverty and governance, Barroso said, “No country in any part of the word can prosper with the burden of a conflict tearing it apart or can be secured while its population is deprived of basic needs.”
 Barroso, however, advised Nigeria to use the historic celebration to consider its future as a key player in African and the world.
 He revealed that the commission had committed over €1bn to    peace keeping operations and had over 2,300 personnel deployed across Africa.
 “One  country’s  lack of development hampers another’s s growth too. One country’s insecurity poses a threat to another country’s welfare as well. We have to look for common solutions for common challenges from the fight against terrorism to the fight against climate change.
 Also, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, said  his government would “partner Africa in seeking the eradication of violent extremism”.
Cameron, represented by  the UK  Minister for Africa, Mark Simmonds,  stressed that democracy, prosperity and stability were vital ingredients for peace and development in the continent.
Urging Africans to hold their governments accountable, Cameron said next year’s election was vital to Nigeria.
 He said, “Next February’s election will be a vital milestone-Nigeria’s fifth consecutive presidential election in the civilian rule. Mr. President(Dr. Goodluck Jonathan),  you have committed yourself to ensuring the election will be free and fair and I am confident that Nigerians  will accept nothing less.

“In doing so, you and your government could be a role model for many other African nations.”
 Cameron lamented that while some African governments were succeeding, others were lagging behind.
 “African governments must allow their countries to flourish. While some African governments are helping their country to take off, others are yet to make a clear choice to build an open government, institutions and economies,” he said.
 Cameron noted that  with strong growth,  rising middle class  and increased stability, African economies were on the verge of takeoff.
 The French President, Francois Hollande, who  delivered  a keynote address at the event,said democracy was the best way of ensuring stability and economic development.
 He promised that  Paris   would support Nigeria to overcome its  security challenges.
 Hollande said, “Europe is not immune to this. Anything that happens in Africa could happen in other places. Africans must themselves ensure their own security.
 “Security is crucial for development. Africa has a great future. This is where the major infrastructures will be built. The new sources of renewable energy would be deployed. This is where the new requirement of the world would be redefined.”
Kenyan Deputy President  William Ruto, who spoke on behalf of Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda, expressed  the hope that the 2015 elections in Nigeria  would lead to a huge expectations for Nigerians  and other Africans.
 He said a united Nigeria would make the continent stronger and increase prosperity in Africa.
 Ruto said, “We people in East Africa admire Nigeria and its typical vibrant resilient and innovative people with your huge achievements over the past 100 years. Your continental influence in sports, agriculture, scholarship, trade, industry and other multinational enterprise  are awesome. We know your footballers, writers, actors, intellectuals, business and industrial titans as we know our own.
 “We the rest of Africa look up to you. What you have done, everything you have achieved was possible only because of your union. A divided Nigeria would not be a continental leader. A squabbling Nigeria could not possibly be a leader.
 “A Nigeria turn asunder cannot stand tall,  neither can it command respect in the comity of nations. That is why  Nigeria must remain  together with bond of unity and fraternity. This is the spirit. It is what we wish for when we think of Nigeria and what we pray for throughout Africa.
 Sierra Leone’s  President, Ernest Koroma, who commended Nigeria for its leadership role in Africa, said “Nigeria’ strength is in its diversity” and must use it to promote growth.
 “When Nigeria sneezes, the whole of Africa catches cold.   If there has to be peace and development, Nigeria has a great responsibility. For it to happen, you have to look inwards,” he said.
The Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh,  said Africans must return to the basics of their culture and religious values. soucce: punch
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