By Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria, has asked Nigeria to take the lead as the pillar of Africa towards the championing of the restoration of peace, security and development across the African region.
Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Sabri Boukadoun, made the call when he was received in audience by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.
The working visit by the Algerian Foreign Minister, had as its aim, the exchange of views on bilateral and multilateral issues.
Boukadoun particularly called on the Federal Government to champion all African issues as far as peace and security bedeviling the region were concerned.
While noting that the African region was experiencing challenges in different areas, Boukadoun added that it was high time to build a synergy among African countries to rebuild unity, peace development in the continent without external interferences.
“Nigeria should take the lead for all African issues on peace and security issues that we are confronting the challenges. For example, for the issue that we are facing in the Sahel, no one can diminish the role that Nigerian forces are doing to fight terrorism, but what can we do together in taking the lead in the fight against terrorism?
“Also politically, how we can pass on the message to others. If we speak all together and we strategise our work with others and we try to explain how we can diminish the terrorism threats. It is working on terrorism first, then going to the root causes, and that we can do with Nigeria. We need Nigeria like how it was in the past.
“We should find new ways of thinking, how can we explore these potentials that we all know exists on so many issues? It is not just about coming to Africa and picking up the natural resources and transferring them to other countries.
“We need to transform these resources that will definitely affect the political institutions and we have the instrument that is the African Union, and we have this agenda of 2063 for the African Union and 2030 for the United Nations.
“We need this and who best than Nigeria could have the leading role and this is nothing new, without Nigeria we cannot do it. We need others, but on peace and security and the conflict in Africa that we still have now, it has to be African-based solution,” Boukadoun said.
Responding, Onyeama stated that Nigeria and Algeria were two strategic countries in the African Union which he said, must work together to tackle the challenges facing the continent and achieve success.
The minister added that Nigeria and Algeria must use their shared vision in ensuring strides and reforms at the multilateral level, particularly in the United Nations and the African Union.
“We hope to cooperate more in addressing the terrorist challenges which are still very much present in the Sahel and still pose existential threat to your country and our country.
“In the framework of the continent of the AU of course, we are two major countries in the African Union and our vision converges very closely and we have a special role to perform in the process of the reform of the African Union.
“To have a responsive continental body in which our two countries will be drivers in. Peace and security is a major challenge, especially as 2020 was supposed to be the year we silent the guns on the continent.
“We are not there yet, but we certainly feel our two countries have a role to play in stabilizing the continent and achieving peace in the continent. We still have a lot of work to do and it is important that together, we work hard to achieve this,” Onyeama said.