Obasanjo to PAP: Do not let anybody curtail your powers - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Obasanjo to PAP: Do not let anybody curtail your powers

Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and African Union (AU) High Representative for the Horn of Africa, H. E. Olusegun Obasanji  has called on the Pan-African Parliament (PAP) to reclaim its power and rightful place as the voice of the African citizens at a time when the continent is dealing with numerous challenges, especially on the peace and security front. He challenged the PAP to harness its potential and be more visible on the continent.

H. E. Obasanjo made the call on Tuesday at the ongoing First Ordinary Session of the Sixth Parliament of the PAP in Midrand, held under the African Union theme for 2022: “Building resilience in nutrition on the African continent: Accelerate the human capital, social and economic development”.

“You have power and you must not let anyone curtail your powers. For instance, you can discuss, examine and make recommendations to policy organs on your own initiative. You can discuss your budget and the budget of the African Union. Your Committee on Cooperation, International Relations and Conflict Resolution should be active and in the forefront of initiatives involving peace building across continent as we try to contain instability in the face of unconstitutional changes of government. There’s a lot to do if we are to achieve peace and this body has a central role to play,” he said.

Going down memory on the establishment of the PAP, H.E. Obasanjo reiterated the significance of the Continental Parliament in the AU governance architecture. “The objectives for which the PAP was established have not changed and the contribution of this Parliament is required now more than ever. Indeed, it must be emphasized that the PAP is not an unnecessary institution. It’s an institution that should be part and parcel of the instruments that will lead us to the Promised Land,” said President Obasanjo.

“A bird does not fly with one wing. For the AU to make progress, it should be able to fly with its two wings – the Assembly of Heads of State and the Pan-African Parliament”.

H.E. Obasanjo stated that he was encouraged by the issues discussed by the Parliament prior to his arrival which included the adoption of four (4) motions among which was a motion congratulating the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and Tigray People’s Liberation Front on the Signing of the Peace Agreement. The motion also congratulated the AU mediators led by President Obasanjo for their stewardship and impartiality which became a hallmark of this peace agreement.

On the process that led to the peace agreement, H.E. Obasanjo said: “It wasn’t easy for us to achieve a Peace Agreement in Ethiopia. The process is challenging, long and frustrating, but because we were determined to see peace and stability in Africa, we managed to bring together the warring parties to the table to convey our vision for a united Ethiopia. We had to be neutral, friendly and appreciating to everyone despite whatever reservations we had. I encourage you as the PAP to also develop that spirit; the spirit that borders around resilience and focus.”

“I am pleased that we have managed to create an environment in Ethiopia whereby people who were foes can now live together. We are glad that all outstanding disputes were resolved in a principled manner. I believe that if we managed to resolve Ethiopian challenges then we can find solutions on other parts of Africa,” he added.

In his remarks, President of the Pan-African Parliament, H.E Hon. Chief Fortune Charumbira hailed the role of President Obasanjo in Ethiopia and across the continent and described his address to the PAP as historic and testament to the Parliament’s revival.

“As Africans we celebrate your efforts which have produced very good results in Ethiopia. As the Chief negotiator, you have delivered peace in that country and this is an incredible achievement. With people of your caliber, Africa is in good hands,” said H.E Hon. Charumbira.

He briefed the former Nigeria’s President on motions adopted by the PAP that morning which included motion on DRC-Rwanda conflict, motion on illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the US and its allies, motion and solidarity and support to the Government and people of Mozambique in dealing with terrorism challenges and motion on Uganda Oil project motion.

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