Former President Goodluck Jonathan has called on Africa nations to harness their diversities and differences for greatness.
He made the call at the 2021 “Democracy Dialogue” with the theme “Democracy and the Unity of State” organised by the foundation in Abuja
Jonathan, who is the founder of the foundation, said that the diversity of Africa nations had often be misconstrued to be source of their challenge, hence if well harnessed, it would be source of greatness.
“As President and out of office, I have been involved in managing conflicts in many African countries.
“In the course of such missions, I had observed that one of the major sources of problems is the inability to manage diversities.
“In Africa we need to harness our diversities and differences and translate them to strength for a more peaceful and prosperous future.
“Our diversity is often misconstrued to be the source of our challenges, but I feel, if properly harnessed, it will be the source of our greatness.
“One good way to make progress in this regard is to strengthen government institutions to improve integration, equity, and social inclusion in our various nations,” Jonathan said.
The former president said that to win peace in Africa, countries in the continent needed to constantly engage in meaningful conversations in order to reach compromise on issues.
According to him, the weapons of warfare for the continent in times like this should be love, justice and hope.
“The pursuit of these virtues will guarantee sustainable peace and unity in Africa.
“ While guns, drones and other artilleries may win the war, to win the peace, we need to constantly engage in meaningful conversations in order to reach compromise on issues, affecting us all.
“We are optimistic that discussions and suggestions from gatherings like this will help set the agenda for bigger civic engagements for the promotion of peace and good governance in Africa,” he said.
Jonathan said that the dialogue aimed at advancing the course of nationhood and building a consensus around some critical issues affecting Africa unity and development.
He said that the theme of the dialogue captured the essence of democracy, which drives its steam from productive civic engagements.
He said that the foundation believed that democracy was a nation building tool, a vehicle for the realisation of such societal aspirations as justice, peace, freedom and progress.
“For us, we carry the burden of promoting peace and prosperity, as aptly captured in our mission not just in Nigeria but in Africa.
“There is no better way to realise this than through consistent engagement with different stakeholders in our democratic space.
“Some nations are going through many challenges that have continued to pose serious threats to their unity and corporate existence.
“Democracy thrives on the mutuality of trust between government and the people and among the different groups within a state,” Jonathan said.
He urged Africans to begin to see a little more than their tribes in all that they do, adding your tribe alone cannot make a nation.
The former president also called on Civil Society Organisations and the media to continue to mount pressure on the leaders to promote unity and democracy in the continent, as well made them to know when they are deviating.
He disclosed that the subsequent dialogue of the foundation would be held by different Africa countries because the focus of the foundation was not just Nigeria.
Dignitaries at the event include Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha; Senate President, Ahmad Lawan; Governors of Kogi and Bauchi States and former Senate President, Ayim Pius Ayim. (NAN)
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