African immigrants drowning in sea embarrassing, says Buhari
By Juliana & Taiwo-Obalonye
ABUJA: President Muhammadu Buhari has described as embarrassing to African leaders, images in the international media of African youths drowning in the Mediterranean Sea on their illegal attempts, and often times illusory hope of attaining better life in Europe.
He said the situation also is dehumanizing to their persons, adding that they combined to paint a very unfavourable picture of the people and the continent. He has therefore, urged that African leaders to reverse the ugly trend.
Buhari stated this in his remarks at the opening session of the 25th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
According to President Buhari, "we must put an end to the so-called push factors that compel our young men and women to throw caution to the winds and risk life, limbs and all, on this dangerous adventure. We must redouble our efforts to sustain the economic development of our countries, ensure empowerment of our youths, create more jobs, improve and upgrade our infrastructure, and above all continue the enthronement of a regime of democracy, good governance and respect for human rights and rule of law. These and other measures that engender peace and stability must be pursued relentlessly".
The President, while thanking African leaders as well as the international community for the support given Nigeria during the 2015 general elections, agreed with pundits that his election was historic.
He said, " my election has been described as historic. I agree that it is indeed historic because for the first time in the practice of democracy in my country, an opposition party has defeated the ruling party in a keenly contested election. The election was also held against the backdrop of the fears and concerns expressed both in Nigeria and among our international friends and partners that the outcome of the election could spell doom for Nigeria. I am glad that even though those fears and concerns were not without basis, the outcome was totally different, to the relief of all of us."
The President acknowledged the very positive role played by his predecessor, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, in averting the feared crisis, and in facilitating the peaceful transition of power between the two parties".
Buhari commended the AU for the laudable progress made over the past one and a half decades since its transformation from the Organization of African Unity (OAU) to the African Union (AU).