President Muhammadu Buhari says it is vital for African governments to renew their social compact with the citizenry so as to improve governance, development and build institutions that promote inclusive security and prosperity.
Buhari spoke on Thursday in Abuja at the 5th Conference of the Network of African Parliamentarians for Defence and Security Committees of the House of Representatives.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, Office of the Vice President, in a statement, said Buhari was represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
Buhari said his administration was actively striving to ensure that no segment of the Nigerian population feels alienated and marginalized.
The Conference is a strategic platform that brings together lawmakers from across Africa, as well as representatives of the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union (EU).
It is to exchange ideas, share experiences and deliberate on common approaches to addressing threats to the continent’s collective security.
“Mobilizing the full spectrum of our national assets also means engaging the broad expanse of our societies.
“In order to do this, we must renew the social compact that binds governments and the governed and build institutions that promote inclusive security and prosperity.
” We recognize that having large segments of our population feeling alienated and marginalized is a critical vulnerability.”
He said that the challenge was to develop measures through policy and legislation that created an umbrella of human security over the people, thereby preventing the forces of destabilization from weaponizing the frustrations of the marginalized.
The president said that in doing so, Nigeria would also ensure that the human and material resources deployed for growth and development were not consumed in conflict.
He said that the Conference was timely and urged African governments to have more strategic collaboration to tackle existential threats across the continent.
“Governments across the continent are dealing with multiple threats ranging from terrorism and piracy to transnational organized crime and insurrectionary challenges to the very legitimacy of our nations.
Buhari highlighted the efforts by the government in addressing the security challenges, particularly terrorism and insurgency.
“As part of our efforts in responding, we’ve prioritized our commitment to the constitutional imperative of guaranteeing the security and the welfare of the people.
“We’ve embarked upon an ambitious programme of reforming critical law enforcement institutions while sustaining consistently increased investment in our defence and security sectors.
“However, we recognize that the threats we face in this borderless age are often both local and transnational.
“We recognize that an insurrection or conflict in one country can spread like an infection across borders to destabilize neighbours and create even greater threats that jeopardize regional security and stability.
“This is why strategic multi-dimensional partnerships are essential to guaranteeing the peace, stability and prosperity of our nations and our continent.”