- . . . seeks reduction in cost of governance
By Lawrence Olaoye
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday called on fellow African leaders to cooperate with one another in their efforts to root out terrorism from the continent.
Jonathan, in his address at the Centenary Conference held in Abuja yesterday, reflected on the activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in the country, dwelling on the recent killing of school children in Yobe, north east Nigeria.
He told the visiting heads of government and diplomatic community present at the event that activities of terrorists should not be treated as isolated cases but must be collectively attacked through trans-border cooperation and collaboration.
He said “The Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria is one of such condemnable acts of terror. We have continued to deploy human and military intelligence, in close collaboration with our partners, to bring an end to their nefarious activities”.
Commenting further, Jonathan said “While we respect our national boundaries, terrorists move in and out of our borders. It is now time that we agreed as African leaders that acts of terror against one nation is an act of terror against all.
“We must not allow our countries to become safe havens for terrorists. We must cooperate maximally in better managing our political boundaries. We should adopt protocols that allow countries to pursue terrorists well into their safe havens in other nations.
While we cannot redefine our borders, we must re-define our collective approach to ending trans-boundary terrorism and insurgencies,” he pleaded.
The President also tasked the visiting heads of government on the need to reduce the cost of governance, election and electioneering so as to free funds for developmental projects in the continent.
Jonathan equally advocated an Affirmative Finance Action for Women. “Under this action, banks should devote at least thirty percent of their bank lending in Agriculture to women farmers and women-owned agribusinesses. The evidence is clear that women rarely default on loans. This purposeful focus on women must become our priority for the post-2015 MDGs. Securing women’s future will secure Africa’s future,” he asserted.