Nigeria has stressed the need for strategic partnerships engagement to secure lasting peace and stability in Africa.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) stated this on Thursday at the 5th Conference of the Network of African Parliamentarians for Defence and Security Committees of the House of Representatives.
The vice president represented the President Muhammadu Buhari at the conference which brings together lawmakers from across Africa, as well as representatives of the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States, and the European Union to exchange ideas, share experiences and deliberate on common approaches to addressing threats to the continent’s collective security.
Osinbajo in a statement issued on Thursday by his media spokesman, Laolu Akande, said “mobilizing the full spectrum of our national assets also means engaging the broad expanse of our societies. In order to do this, we must renew the social compact that binds governments and the governed and build institutions that promote inclusive security and prosperity. We recognize that having large segments of our population feeling alienated and marginalized is a critical vulnerability.”
He added, “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 destabilization from weaponizing the frustrations of the marginalized. 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.”
Noting that the conference is timely, he urged African governments to have more strategic collaboration to tackle existential threats across the continent.
“Governments across the continent are dealing with multiple threats ranging from terrorism and piracy to transnational organized crime and insurrectionary challenges to the very legitimacy of our nations.
“As part of our efforts in responding, we have prioritized 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 recognize that the threats we face in this borderless age are often both local and transnational. We recognize that an insurrection or conflict in one country can spread like an infection across borders to destabilize neighbours and create even greater threats that jeopardize regional security and stability. This is why strategic multi-dimensional partnerships are essential to guaranteeing the peace, stability and prosperity of our nations and our continent,” he said.
In addressing these collective security challenges, he told the gathering of parliamentarians that they have a crucial role in leading domestic advocacy for vital security partnerships in their respective countries.
He also noted that all levels of governments should engage more in partnership with the civil society and development partners to address critical issues on the continent.
“The threats confronting us – whether occasioned by climate change-induced conflict or by hostile armed non-state actors – require us to deepen our cooperation and strengthen the cross-cutting bonds between our defence and security institutions,” he adde