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Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari told world leaders at the just concluded 76th Session of the high-level General Debate of the UN General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York to set term limits, especially for African leaders.
His call is coming after the continent has experienced three successful coups (two in Mali and one recently in Guinea), and one unsuccessful coup attempt in Niger, as well as an arbitrary military transfer of power in Chad following the assassination of its president.
President Buhari insisted that the recent trend of unconstitutional takeover of power on the continent must not be tolerated by the international community.
He said: ‘We must deal not only with the symptoms of conflict but also the immediate causes that fuel conflicts in the first place.
‘These include poor and undemocratic governance, human rights abuses, poverty, ignorance, injustice, and inequalities.
“There are no easy solutions to these conditions. They require long-term investments and more effective international cooperation.
“In this connection, my delegation underscores the importance of promoting peaceful, unfettered, and inclusive participation of states in global actions towards conflict prevention.
“This will facilitate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the African Union Agenda 2063.
‘In West Africa especially, our democratic gains of the past decades are now being eroded. The recent trend of unconstitutional takeover of power, sometimes in reaction to unilateral changes of constitutions by some leaders, must not be tolerated by the international community.
‘Nigeria fully supports the efforts by ECOWAS to address this growing challenge and appreciates the support of both the African Union and the United Nations.
‘In this regard, I would like to reiterate that as leaders of our individual member-states we need to adhere to the constitutional provisions of our countries, particularly on term limits. This is one area that generates crisis and political tension in our sub-region.’
As regards COVID-19 vaccine, the Nigerian President said this year’s theme of ‘Building resilience through hope – to recover from COVID-19’, rebuild sustainably, respond to the needs of the planet, respect the rights of the people, and revitalise the United Nations, sums up our common desire to rescue our planet, recover our economies, and restore hope to all the peoples of the world.’
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK