Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari friday in Abuja called on African leaders to form a strong united front to defeat terrorism and violent extremism, which he said was inhibiting development in Africa.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu said Buhari made the call while receiving Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto at the State House.
Buhari expressed concern that the continent was still grappling with acts and effects of terrorism after a successful de-colonisation campaign.
Acknowledging the valued cooperation between Nigeria and Kenya in the fight against terrorism, the president commended the East African country for the recent successes recorded in tackling terrorism in the region.
“A situation in which insecurity continues to obstruct the process of national development should not be allowed to continue”, the president told Mr Ruto, a special envoy to President Uhuru Kenyatta.
On the forthcoming election of a new leadership for the African Union Commission (AUC), Buhari said African States needed a very strong leadership at the AUC that would encourage member states to refocus their resources and energy toward human and national development.
On Kenya’s request for Nigeria’s support for the candidature of Amb. Amina Mohammed, Kenya’s Foreign Minister, who is vying for the AUC Chairperson, Buhari said Nigeria would hold robust consultations with other African leaders on the need for strong and capable leadership that will respond to the current challenges facing the continent.
In his remarks, Ruto commended Buhari for his leadership, particularly on regional security and the fight against corruption.
He said Buhari’s effort to eradicate terrorism and violent extremism had emboldened the continent’s resolve to achieve lasting peace and security.