President Muhammadu Buhari has advised African leaders to deliberately develop policies and legislations that would guarantee human security in order to prevent forces of destabilisation from exploiting the frustration of the marginalised for the purpose of spreading discord. Buhari stated this yesterday in Abuja at the fifth Conference of the Network of African Parliamentarians for Defence and Security Committees of the House of Representatives.

The conference is a strategic platform that brings together lawmakers from across Africa, as well as representatives of the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the European Union (EU) to exchange ideas, share experiences, and deliberate on common approaches to addressing threats to the continent’s collective security.

Buhari stressed that it was vital for governments in the continent to renew their social contract with the citizens so as to improve governance, development, and build institutions that promote inclusive security and prosperity.

The president, in his speech delivered by the vice president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said his administration was actively pursuing policies to ensure that no segment of the Nigerian population was alienated and marginalised. He noted that mobilising the full spectrum of national assets also meant engaging the broad expanse of society.

According to the president, “We recognise that having large segments of our population feeling alienated and marginalised is a critical vulnerability. The challenge then is for us to develop measures through policy and legislation that create an umbrella of human security over our people and thereby prevent the forces of destabilisation from weaponising the frustrations of the marginalised.

“In doing this, we will also ensure that the human and material resources that we should be deploying for growth and development are not consumed in conflict.”

Buhari said the conference was timely, and urged African governments to engage in more strategic collaboration to tackle existential threats across the continent. He highlighted efforts by the Nigerian government to address its security challenges, particularly terrorism and insurgency.

The president told the gathering of parliamentarians that they had a crucial role in leading domestic advocacy for vital security partnerships in their respective countries.

He stated, “Governments across the continent are dealing with multiple threats, ranging from terrorism and piracy to transnational organised crime and insurrectionary challenges to the very legitimacy of our nations.

“As part of our efforts in responding, we have prioritised our commitment to the constitutional imperative of guaranteeing the security and the welfare of the people. We have embarked upon an ambitious programme of reforming critical law enforcement institutions while sustaining consistently increased investment in our defence and security sectors.

“However, we recognise that the threats we face in this borderless age are often both local and transnational. We recognise that an insurrection or conflict in one country can spread like an infection across borders to destabilise neighbours and create even greater threats that jeopardise regional security and stability.”

The president said the borderless nature of threats to security underscored the need for strategic multi-dimensional partnerships to guarantee peace, stability, and prosperity of African countries.


He stated, “The African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is the most recent manifestation of our resolve to open our borders, increase intra-African trade and grow the continent’s economy. It has long been established that deepening the trade links between our nations would serve as a propulsive engine for driving Africa’s growth.

“But these objectives would be undermined by unchecked destabilisation and insecurity. In the light of this, it is clear that this Network has a key role to play in securing our collective prosperity.”

Source: Thisday Newspaper

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