President Muhammadu Buhari said, yesterday, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, that the African Union, AU, must ensure that the proliferation of guns that had resulted to wanton killings in Africa stopped now.
Speaking at the 26th AU Summit, President Buhari decried the use of scarce resources in Africa on armed conflicts rather than economic and social development of the continent.
Specifically referring to the civil unrest in South Sudan and Burundi, Buhari urged African leaders to ensure they worked to bring the conflict to an end, adding that exterminating the scourge of terrorism from African continent would help to realize the noble goals of Agenda 2063, as espoused by the AU.
He said: “We have all shed blood for Africa to be free, but the irony is that, today, we are now killing each other. Rather than facing the developmental challenges confronting us, we are spending our scarce resources killing our children and inflicting unspeakable horrors and unimaginable hardship on our brothers and sisters.
“That is truly a tragedy and it must stop. Enough is Enough! Within the framework of the African Union, we have to, as a matter of urgency, reach a consensus on how to silence the guns. Not by 2020 but now. Why must we wait? We must say no to wars and conflicts on our continent.”
President Buhari, while reiterating Nigeria’s commitment to surmount terrorism and bring the war against Boko Haram to an end, also stated that the country would continue to partner with other member states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, and Republic of Benin, through the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF.
He also restated that Nigeria would not renege in its pledge of $100 million to enhance the operations of the Task Force, recalling that $21 million had already been released to the task force in June last year.
The President also reiterated Nigeria’s commitment to the unity, peace and prosperity of the continent, even as his highlighted countries in Africa that had enlisted Nigeria’s assistance.
“We in Nigeria have always been attached to the idea of African unity. During the struggle to win freedom for our brothers and sisters in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, Nigeria was considered a front-line state, although we were not geographically on the frontline.
“This was because we took to heart the words of President Ben Bella of Algeria that we all had to die a little for all our brothers and sisters on the continent,” he said.