From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern that peace has become an elusive subject that affects development in many regions of Africa.
According to him, women and children are the worst affected by the breakdown of peace due to the activities of insurgents and bandits which have led to more widespread displacement and poverty.
According a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, Buhari, spoke at the opening ceremony of the 9th General Assembly of the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM), held at the State House Conference Center.
The President, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the event, pledged support to the resolutions of the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) aimed at promoting peace and development in the continent.
Buhari also urged African Leaders and other stakeholders to support the women in realising their core objective of building a peaceful society.
“It is with great pleasure that I welcome African first ladies to Nigeria, for the 9th General Assembly of the African First Ladies Peace Mission. The importance of this assembly lies in the fact that peace has become an elusive subject that affects development in many regions of Africa.
“The activities of insurgents and banditry have led to more widespread displacement and poverty. It is not in doubt that women and children are the worst affected by the breakdown of peace. Therefore, as mothers, I believe, you are in better position to drive the processes of peace and actions where necessary.
“Indeed, I’m happy to know that your forum has been working towards promoting peaceful coexistence within the continent in so many ways,” he said.
President Buhari congratulated the Nigerian First Lady, Aisha Buhari, for acquiring a piece of land on behalf of all First Ladies for the development of a secretariat for the Mission in Abuja.
President Buhari congratulated the Nigerian First Lady, Dr Aisha Buhari, for acquiring a piece of land on behalf of all First Ladies for the development of a secretariat for the Mission in Abuja.
”It gladdens my heart to know that when completed the secretariat will serve several purposes including creating employment opportunities as well as generating income for sustainability,” he said.
The 9th General Assembly of the AFLPM unanimously elected the First Lady of Nigeria as the new President.
In her acceptance speech, Mrs. Buhari pledged to execute her new responsibility with total commitment, urging her colleagues to work in unison towards a glorious destiny for Africa.
“With all sense of humility, I accept my election as the incoming 9th President of the African First Ladies Peace Mission.
“I want to sincerely thank all my colleagues for your continuous support and understanding and for entrusting me with this great responsibility.
“I pledge to execute my responsibility with total commitment and in accordance to the Missions laid down regulations.
“Your Excellences, Gentlemen of the Press, as you are aware, the task before us is a collective commitment hence the cooperation of all us is needed for the overall success of the African First Ladies Peace Mission.
“On my own part, I assure you that I will discharge the affairs of my office with honesty, dedication and inclusivity.
“My dear colleagues as we conclude this Summit, let history guide us to ensure that the Africa we bequeath to our children today is better than the one we inherited.
“Let us commit ourselves to working together towards achieving a glorious destiny for all Africans,” she said.
In his brief goodwill message, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, noted that the African continent is currently at a very critical stage of its history, when various issues are confronting its peace.
“Africa is at a critical juncture, facing so many existential challenges. This critical situation calls for decisive leadership and concerted action. Africa is battling with a COVID-19 pandemic, battling with devastating consequences of climate change, battling with the catastrophe of terrorism, battling with human and drug trafficking, irregular migration, crushing poverty, and unfortunately, the list goes on.
“Africa is struggling, Africa is bleeding profusely. We must all come together, we must act and act now. We salute you, the African first ladies, for standing up to be counted. You are a very powerful and influential group that can make a huge difference that can help to deliver the Africa we want, and the Africa we deserve”, he charged.
Also giving a goodwill charge, the Ghanaian First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, called on all stakeholders to contribute towards the building of the AFLPM.
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