Nigeria’s President Umaru Yar’Adua, has lamented that most African nations are today confronted with a number of daunting challenges of poor infrastructure and weak governance institutions and structures, resulting from economic and political mis-governance, mindless corruption, ethnicity, self- serving politics of intolerance, and a lack of commitment to national ideals.
President Yar’Adua made the observation in his remarks at the 10th anniversary commemoration of Shehu Musa Yar’Adua held here Saturday.
“We may be tempted to blame this situation on our colonial antecedents and the unstructured partitioning from which emerged a number of poor and fragile states .
“However, there is no escaping the fact that much of Africa’s woes have been either self-inflicted or self-perpetuated,” he said
According to him, “the continent’s regeneration must be championed by Africans themselves; no one from outside the continent is coming to face up to our developmental challenges on our behalf.
“Africa must evolve a crop of focused, committed, service-oriented, and God-fearing leaders, imbued with the requisite courage, focus, dedication, clear vision , and patriotism to drive the continent’s transformation.
Yar’Adua pointed out “the challenges of nation-building are surmountable if we subscribe to the fundamental principles of democracy, good governance, free enterprise, and the rule of law, adding “given the reality of the phenomenon of globalization, we necessarily need the support and productive partnership of the developed world, to help us reposition Africa as a peaceful, secure, stable and prosperous continent.
The President said his administration has outlined the road-map to Nigeria’s transformation in a seven-point agenda which encapsulates its covenant with the people, noting the agenda represents the short to medium term response to the challenges inherent in Nigeria’s desire to belong to the club of the world’s twenty biggest economies by the year 2020.
“We recognise we can best achieve our objective if our quest is rooted in absolute respect for the rule of law and the entrenchment of transparency and accountability in the conduct of government business.”
Acknowledging to have an abiding duty to check the vicious cycle that has perpetuated under-development, endemic poverty and instability on the continent, Yar’Adua said “I take great comfort in the knowledge that the continent is blessed with visionary, courageous and committed leaders like my brother, President Paul Kagame who can drive Africa’s transformation.”
He expressed appreciation to “President Kagame for honouring us with his prese nce at this annual tribute to the memory of a true son of Africa who lived and died in the defence of the time-honoured ideals of service, honesty, courage, integrity, industry, loyalty, dedication and faith in God and country.”
General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua, Nigeria’s military second-in-command in the late 1970s, died in controversial circumstances while serving time in detention for alleged involvement in a phantom coup d’etat. Panapress.