Statement from Mo Ibrahim, Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, on the outcome of the recent Presidential elections in The Gambia
Jan 26, 2017, 10:51 AM
“It is with immense joy and pride that I congratulate my brother His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, The Government and valiant people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on the auspicious occasion of your Centenary celebrations.My delegation appreciates the warm hospitality and the excellent facilities put at our disposal for this all important event.I wish to express our gratitude to the Government and people of Nigeria for taking this bold and Pan Africanist initiative to host a summit on such a critical and long overdue theme at this crucial milestone in the evolution of Nigeria as a geopolitical power House and in our common journey as Africans; about more than half a century since the advent of independence from colonial domination.
“I commend Nigeria for the leadership role this great country has been playing in our pursuit of peace and security in Africa, especially in the ECOWAS sub-region. I recall that in
May 2013 on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the OAU/AU we set ourselves the goal of ending all wars on the continent by 2020. It was during these celebrations in Addis Ababa that I proposed a decade of peace and reconciliation in Africa and my Government continues to advocate this position because there cannot be any lasting peace in Africa if we do not reconcile our differences in a peaceful and harmonious manner. I am happy to note that the authority of Heads of States and Governments of the AU have adopted this proposal for a decade of reconciliation.
“Therefore it is indeed fitting that Nigeria has chosen such an apt theme as “Human Security, Peace and Development” for this summit. I take particular note of the fact that the subtheme of security is qualified with the “human element” because in a world that seems to be confused in its priorities, with some prioritizing the security and welfare of animals over that of human beings, it is about time that we as Africans set our priorities right.
“Human security cannot be attained if we do not go back to basics and reconnecting with our cultural and religious values. As Africans we have a golden treasure trove of cultural values that can sustain and enhance our security as a race existing harmoniously among ourselves and also with others. Therefore we must reinforce our cultural renaissance by redefining our priorities both in terms of the content of educational curricula and the values we live for as individuals, societies and nations. I am glad to note that Nigeria happens to be one such country that is proud of her heritage and shine as an example for the whole world.
“It is my ardent belief that negative external forces and influences mainly jeopardize the peace and security of our continent. It still baffles me that rebels on this continent that is associated with poverty are armed with the latest weaponry when our school children cannot get their basic educational tools in spite of lip service from world powers that pretend to care so much for our wellbeing that they emphasise the rights of a tiny minority bent on defying the laws of the Almighty Creator; over the welfare of Allah- Fearing majority that chooses to live according to their cultural and religious values.
“As I stated during the last Elysee Summit in Paris “Poverty can only be eradicated under a peaceful and secured environment.” Therefore we should all continue to nurture the seeds of peaceful coexistence. Let me hasten to add here the need for a sharper focus on food security as well; in an increasingly dynamic and challenging global economic environment, food security is indispensable to national security. This being the case, regaining Africa’s lost glory can only come about when we take full control of our Allah- Given Natural resources; process and sell them as finished products instead of continuing to export them as raw materials.
“For this to happen, we must embark on industrialization.It was a combination of the looting of Africa’s Natural Resources and industrialization that propelled Colonial Empires out of abject poverty into Affluence. This can only be done if we come together and speak with one voice ensuring that our resources are appropriated according to our own terms, and not on the dictatorial conditions of outside multinational institutions.
“In conclusion, I once again salute President Jonathan and the great people of Nigeria on the occasion of their centenary celebrations. The Government and people of The Gambia will forever remain a sincere and grateful ally of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Black Africa’s power house that has contributed so much for the liberation of the African continent and continues to use her resources to the benefit of less fortunate and less endowed African countries like the Gambia. We shall remain a true brother and genuine partner of this great country and her people.
“For all the leadership role Nigeria has played in the liberation of the African Continent from colonialism and apartheid to the maintenance of peace in trouble hot-spots on our continent, we pray that Allah Subhaanahu Wa Ta’alaa continues to bless and protect this great nation. Nigeria has
contributed immensely toward the maintenance of peace security and development in Africa and it has done so paying a high price in terms of both material and human resources. Africa and the civilized world will remain grateful to this country as a giant in the advancement of our civilization.
“We appeal to all Nigerians to reconcile their differences peacefully and maintain Nigeria as a strong and unified power house of Black Africa.There is no country in the world that is comprised of one region, one religion and one ethnic group.The beauty of Nigeria and any country for that matter lies in her cultural, religious and regional diversity.Our diversity should be a source of strength, unity and pride and not division, weakness and violence.
“If religion is anything to go by, we as Muslims and Christians should understand that in the ultimate kingdom of Allah that is Heaven only the Almighty Allah would decide who enters Heaven. Since our ultimate objective as Allah worshiping Muslims and Christians is to be granted eternal bliss in Heaven, we must remember that we have no control over who we want to live with in Heaven.Therefore, we must accept that in this world, we should tolerate each other, accept our diversity, since it is the same Almighty who created all of us despite our diversity.
“The people of the Gambia in particular, and black Africa in general look up to all Nigerians to maintain and strengthen the unity, peace and prosperity of Nigeria as Africa’s most populous Nation and Black Africa’s power house.
All Nigerians should understand that a divided Nigeria can only mean catastrophe for the entire black race.Please preserve the unity and peace of Nigeria and remember that Nigeria is bigger than any regional, ethnic or cultural considerations or interest. May the Almighty Allah continue to Guide, Guard and Bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I thank you all for your attention”.