Tuesday, October 19, 2021

UNGA 76: Democracy being eroded in West Africa – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in New York warned that democracy in West was ‘‘being eroded’’ largely due to unconstitutional takeover of power and unilateral changes in constitutions by some leaders.

Mr Buhari gave the warning while speaking on  the current political situation in West Africa amid recent coups in Mali and Guinea, during the general debate of the 76th UN General Assembly.

‘‘In West Africa especially, our democratic gains of the past decades are now being eroded,” Mr Buhari said.

‘‘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.

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‘‘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.”

Proffering solutions to conflict prevention, Buhari urged world leaders not to deal only with the symptoms of conflict but also the immediate causes that that fuel conflicts in the first place.

‘‘These include poor and undemocratic governance, human rights abuses, poverty, ignorance, injustice and inequalities.

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‘‘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,’’ he said.

The theme for the 76th session is, “Building Resilience Through Hope – To Recover from COVID-19, Rebuild Sustainably, Respond to the Needs of the Planet, Respect the Rights of People and Revitalise the United Nation’’.

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