By Bukar Bolori
Former EkitI State Governor and Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has asked Africans to advance their own core interests and values, insisting that African leadership must also as a necessity expunge the development aid framework from its thinking and embrace the audacity in defending the continents’s rights and interests in global affairs that has eluded us for way too long.
Fayemi while noting that: “Leadership audacity was at the heart of the launching of the pan-African project.” described as demeaning a situation where African leaders sees powers from the grounds of development aid and support alone.
Audacity according to him served us well in the struggle for independence and decolonisation, saying President Kwame Nkrumah used to tell African leaders, we should neither face the east nor west, we should always face forward.
He said: “To rise to the challenge of the times, Africa must organise itself to develop and deploy the necessary strategic plans, policy packages and leadership resources that are fit for the era of rapid and complex change.
“It is this task of policy and leadership advancement that must be addressed as an urgent necessity if Africa is to play its rightful role in the ongoing dynamic of change in global order.”
Also speaking at the Annual Conference of the Society for International Relations Awareness (SIRA) with the theme: “Africa in the turbulence of a world in search of direction,” its chairman, Comrade Owei Lakemfa advised President Bola Tinubu and his other colleagues in Africa to engaged career diplomats to proffer solutions to current conflicts being faced on the continent.
He asked African leaders to define their interest, move the continent forward and engage professional diplomats.
He said: “Beyond these conflicts, we are confronted with a world in which the richest 10 per-cent own 52 per-cent of all income while the poorest 52 per-cent get just 8.5 per-cent.
“We have all ignored the reasons why the International Labour Organisation, ILO was established in 1919. The preamble proclaims that the ILO was set up because: “universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice.”
It added that conditions: “exist involving such injustice, hardship and privation to large numbers of people as to produce unrest so great that the peace and harmony of the world are imperilled.”
He stated further: “We think that Africa should start looking at the situation and try work a direction. We have no direction and various countries and continents are working together to fashion out a direction but Africa is not.”
Lakemfa noted that professional diplomats can assist African leaders in their quest to address conflicts facing the continent.
Also, the Director- General/CEO Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, Issa Aremu observed that there was once a Nigeria that used to lead the campaign for decolonization of the Africans .