…Identifies election fraud, political violence as bane of Africa’s growth
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, identified political violence, election fraud as well as military taking over from democratically-elected governments as the bane of the African continent’s growth.
Obasanjo, who is the Chair, Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) Board of Trustees, stated this at the opening session of a 2-day high-level dialogue organised by the group, which is holding at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The meeting, with the theme:
‘West Africa: Rising to the challenges of consolidating Democratic Governance‘, had in attendance former Nigerian president, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan; Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; former Vice President of The Gambia, Fatoumata Tambajanb; former President of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma and the Ogun State governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, among others.
Obasanjo, in his welcome remarks, condemned the military take over of democratically elected governments in some African countries, with a submission that democracy in West Africa and the entire continent needs attention.
He noted that Africa, nay West Africa, is passing through the most difficult periods as a result of political instability, while hinting that the only way the continent can grow rapidly is through a peaceful democratic process.
The nation’s vice-president, Osinbajo, in his Keynote Address, appealed to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, (AU), and other organisations in the continent to brace-up and tackle the issue of political and economic instability headlong.
Osinbajo equally lent his voice to the former president’s position over military incursion into the democratic setting, describing the development as worrisome.
“The militarisation of civil society whether by local military regimes or rival foreign military-industrial complexes can only set us back by several decades.
“We have walked this thorny road before, with many decades worth of bitter experience and impeachable lesson of our history; a clear lesson of our history is that despotisms cannot guarantee the security and prosperity of our people”.
“No matter how dire our circumstances may be, we now have concrete proof that resorting to extra-constitutional regimes is not the way forward.
“Our commitment to democratisation must be predicated on the aspiration of our people and not from the whims of foreign powers”, the VP added.