General News of Thursday, 22 January 2015
Source: Graphic Online
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has accepted an invitation from the Nations Media Group to address the Second Kenyan Governors’ Summit slated for February 26 -27, in the Kenyan fresh water lake city of Naivasha.
The decision by the governors to invite former President Kufuor was based on the fact that during his tenure as Chairman of the Africa Union (AU), he played a very critical role in resolving the Kenyan electoral violence.
The annual summit is an innovation by the Nations Media Group, the largest independent media house in East and Central Africa. It is to offer an opportunity to Kenyan governors to examine how much progress they have made under their new constitution promulgated in 2010, following the peaceful resolution of their electoral dispute which erupted in 2006 and led to violence and loss of lives.
The Nations Media Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Linus W. Gitahi, who was in Accra on Monday to formally invite former President Kufuor to the summit, explained that the 2010 Kenyan Constitution established 47 county governments which unanimously chose the former president as the special guest speaker for the summit.
Mr Gitahi further explained that the decision by the governors to select former President Kufuor was based on the fact that during his tenure as Chairman of the Africa Union (AU), he played a very critical role in resolving the Kenyan electoral violence.
“There is a new constitution now in place since 2010, and I think it is a great opportunity; and is almost a homecoming for him to come back and see the whole structure that is now working, and he may start challenging us on all-inclusiveness,” he said.
He said the former president would have the opportunity to interact with the governors and share his rich experiences with them.
Former President Kufuor recounted how as the AU Chairman, he had it as duty to see to the resolution of the Kenyan electoral dispute by putting in place a panel of eminent African personalities, which included Mr Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary-General, Mr Benjamin Mkapa, former President of Tanzania, and Graca Michel of Mozambique.
He said the group was asked to mediate between the parties, create the conditions for peace, and negotiate a political settlement that would tackle the root causes of the conflict.
Former President Kufuor said the result of the works of the AU Eminent Persons led to the restoration of peace and stability to Kenya.
He said it was a joy that the 47 governors had agreed to invite him to be the guest of honour at their summit, and added that it was an invitation for him to go and see the outcome of the dialogue they had started.
He said Kenya was a strategic country not only in East and Central Africa, but on the African continent at large, and even globally.
“We should be proud to identify ourselves with Kenya rising again,” the former President stated.