Deji Elumoye in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has called for a comprehensive overhaul of the African Union (AU) for it to be more functional in meeting set targets and relevance, warning that failure to do so will result in the organisation becoming stale.
Buhari, in a speech during the day two of the 34th Annual Summit of the African Union held virtually, told his colleagues that global realities demand that the AU must undergo comprehensive reform for it to remain relevant in intergovernmental processes.
The president, in a statement yesterday by his media assistant, Mallam Garba Shehu, rallied his colleagues to reposition the continental organisation.
He said: “As your excellences are no doubt aware, global realities demand that the AU be overhauled if it must remain relevant in intergovernmental processes. We must work concertedly to ensure a productive, self-sufficient and purpose-driven organisation that will fully serve the interests of the people.
“As we commence the operationalisation of this new structure and system, Nigeria demands a truly reformed, efficient, and effective AU Commission, one that is fully committed to the discharge of its duties and responsibilities.’’
Buhari commended President Paul Kagame of Rwanda for presenting a special report on the need to reform the AU.
He also appreciated the support of heads of state and government in the election of Ambassador Bankole Adeoye as Commissioner, Political Affairs, Peace and Security.
The president noted with gratitude the overwhelming and historic endorsement of the ambassador with 55 votes, an indication that all the members voted, while congratulating the career diplomat, who also serves as Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the AU and UNECA.
He urged Adeoye to deploy his knowledge and experience in foreign policy and diplomacy, particularly on bilateral and multilateral issues, to bring value to the new position. He also assured him of the country’s support.
The president congratulated all elected members of the African Union Commission 2021, which include the Chairman, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat from Chad, and Deputy Chairman, Dr. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, from Rwanda.