Former United State’s Assistant Secretary of States, James Rubin, on Tuesday revealed that the federal government has been playing with different approaches towards putting an end to the activities of members of the radical Islamist sect, Boko Haram.
Speaking in Port Harcourt at an Energy Environment and Investment forum organised by the Rivers State Government, he stressed the need for the Federal Government to take a concrete stand towards wiping out the radical Islamist sect and put an end to their destructive activities in the country.
Boko Haram members
According to Vanguard, Rubin, who pointed out that it was very imperative for Boko Haram to be wiped out if the country is to enjoy investors confidence said the federal government had been playing with different approaches on how to tackle the challenge, noting that it was high time it decided on what to do.
“Either the government or another one makes a decision to confront the situation. One day it is amnesty, another day it is military operation. Then you talk about assistance from outside” he said. “I say this as a friend. What you are going through is the second generation of terrorism in the world. Most countries have gone through it. Please do not wait for the next level. I say this as a friend”.
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Speaking also at the forum, Jose Luis Zapatero, former Prime Minister of Spain remarked that it was important to make a collective effort in order for democracy to succeed in the African continent. He noted that no culture or religion should be regarded as superior to the other.
Zapatero while condemning the activities of terrorists in the continent, reiterated the need for rule of law and respect for rights, noting that it was the only needed instruments for a healthy democratic setting.
He, however, expressed optimism that Nigeria still has the capacity of being among top economies in the world by 2020, but pointed out that it was only in a democratic setting that a peaceful coexistence can be achieved.
“Only in a democracy can there be peaceful living among the various ethnic groups. Democracy and political equality is the instrument to unite people” he said.
Also speaking at the forum, Lech Walesa, the former President of Poland urged the federal government to use its vast human and capital resources to the country’s advantages, and advised that urgent steps needed to be taken to develop a global solution to the challenges facing the country.
Francois Fillon, the former Prime Minister of France on his part, advocated for credible elections in African continent, noting that prolongation of mandates had often threatened the political space in the continent, while John Koffuor, Ghana’s former president, who gave the keynote address on Sustainable Energy the Key to Africa’s investment, called on Africa countries to invest in technology that would halt gas flaring in the continent.
Koffuor also call on African leaders to promote rule of law, respect for constitutional rights and also fight against corruption, while urging governments in the region to pursue solar energy development.
“Africa should follow China and Americans in the area of energy development” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who was the host of the forum had earlier in his welcome address, elaborated on the effort his administration in developing the power sector, noting that energy was the bond between development in the different aspect of the society.
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“Energy is the bond that connects economic, social, and environmental development” Amaechi said. “It is a launching pad for economic growth and plays a pivotal role in any attempt to achieve sustainable development. No country can successfully reduce poverty without adequately addressing its energy needs”.