*AU seeks close coordination with Nigeria on continental matters
By Mathew Dadiya
President Bola Tinubu, has asserted that the African Union (AU) is strategically positioned to secure consensus positions for the continent on economic and socio-political relations with the world, particularly with Nigeria’s stalwart backing.
The President said this when he engaged in a bilateral discussion with the President of the Union of Comoros and Chairperson of the African Union (AU), President Azali Assoumani, at the sideline of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, the United States.
The President in a statement on Tuesday by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, emphasized that “there is nothing that can bring development and prosperity, outside of embracing freedom and constitutional order.”
It is a critical hallmark of sustainable development. We appreciate that the AU is working hard to bring about peace in the Sahel and is actively negotiating between the warring factions in Sudan. Peace in Sudan will be a great achievement. I appreciate your effort in Burkina Faso and our effective cooperation with Niger.
“You can call me at any time and we will discuss the peace and stability of AU member states. We need stability and prosperity for the black race.
“This is our era.
“We must be peaceful to take maximum advantage of the developmental opportunities presented to Africa in this era. We must build a model of sustainable development. Nigeria will collaborate with you.
“But we must move beyond those whose vision of Africa is narrow and evil. We are not afraid of confrontation, but we prefer to be restrained for now, at this time,” the President declared.
The Chairperson of the African Union, President Azali Assoumani, noted that the African Union seeks to complete Nigeria’s effort in securing peace and prosperity in Africa, rather than competing with it.
“It is our responsibility to confront the extra-constitutional wrestling for power on the continent.
“We have told China and Russia that they have a responsibility to ensure that these countries are stable, as there will be no developmental partnership where there is a lack of stability in countries being impacted by coupists. We appreciate your stand on these matters,” the AU Chairperson said.
As President of the Union of Comoros, the AU Chairperson said that Comoros seeks to learn from Nigeria’s experience concerning the steady improvement in diversity management, electoral officiation, and economic growth over many years.
“We want to turn our country into an emerging economy and we need the experience of Nigeria as we seek your cooperation to conduct an election that will win us the respect of the international community and allow us to develop at the right speed and quality,” the Comoros President emphasized.
The President also welcomed the Secretary-General of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Hissein Brahim Taha, and reiterated that the Islamic world has a strategic role to play in the sustenance of peace and development in Africa, and across the globe.
“The effort we are making in the Sahel is very important. We know we must double our efforts. We must tell our Muslim brothers who are struggling to steal power that only Allah chooses leaders. We must respect the will of Allah.
“I am ready to collaborate with you. Your efforts in supporting agricultural growth and food security through the provision of resources from Islamic banks have been most commendable and our region is appreciative. I am determined to work with you in uplifting Nigerians and Africans,” the President assured.
The leader of the 57-nation body of cooperation praised the Nigerian President for his active effort in bringing African states to a place of common understanding.
“We must gain consensus on the need for peace, especially amongst our member states. When you were elected as ECOWAS Chairman, it gave us confidence and hope that the situation in the Sahel region would improve because you are bringing people together. We were also happy about your election as President of Nigeria and we see the changes,” the OIC leader stated.
The OIC Secretary-General extended an invitation to President Tinubu to participate in the OIC Heads of State Summit, expected to hold in a few months.