From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye and Okwe Obi, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed concern that peace has become an elusive subject that affects development in many regions of Africa.
He said women and children are the worst affected by the breakdown of peace due to the activities of insurgents and bandits which have led to more widespread displacement and poverty.
A statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, said Buhari, spoke at the opening ceremony of the ninth General Assembly of the African First Ladies Peace Mission (AFLPM) at the State House Conference Centre.
Buhari, who was special guest of honour, pledged support to the resolutions of the AFLPM aimed at promoting peace and development in the continent.
He also urged African leaders and other stakeholders to support the women in realising their core objective of building a peaceful society.
“The importance of this assembly lies in the fact that peace has become an elusive subject that affects development in many regions of Africa.
“The activities of insurgents and banditry have led to more widespread displacement and poverty. It is not in doubt that women and children are the worst affected by the breakdown of peace. Therefore, as mothers, I believe, you are in better position to drive the processes of peace and actions where necessary.
“Indeed, I’m happy to know that your forum has been working towards promoting peaceful coexistence within the continent in so many ways.”
President Buhari congratulated Aisha, for acquiring a piece of land on behalf of all first ladies for the development of a secretariat for the Mission in Abuja.
“It gladdens my heart to know that when completed the secretariat will serve several purposes including creating employment opportunities as well as generating income for sustainability,’’ he said.
Mrs. Buhari pledged to execute her new responsibility with total commitment, urging her colleagues to work in unison towards a glorious destiny for Africa.
“I assure you that I will discharge the affairs of my office with honesty, dedication and inclusivity…Let us commit ourselves to working together towards achieving a glorious destiny for all Africans,” she said.
Ghanaian First Lady, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, called on all stakeholders to contribute towards the building of the AFLPM.
Following the spate of insecurity in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari, has been challenged to assent to the Bill legalising the Vigilante Group of Nigeria (VGN) to enable the personnel protect national assets.
The House of Representatives, had on November 17, 2021, passed the Bill seeking to establish the VGN with the powers to provide community policing, maintenance of law and order and community service for Nigerians.
VGN’s Commander General, Umar Bakori, at a press briefing, yesterday, in Abuja, maintained that if assented to, insecurity would reduce drastically.
He argued that if considered, the old oil pipelines, 3,000 km newly built gas/petroleum pipelines, Great Green Wall Nigeria, Inland Waterways and Creeks, Railway stations and lines and more than 30 Power plants, vast farmland and many other Key Positions (KPs) and Vulnerable Points (VPs) would be guarded.
“From the North East and North West where Boko Haram, kidnapping and cattle rustling is common to the North Central with kidnapping and banditry, South South, South East and South West where kidnappings, street gangsters, cultism and other forms of criminalities are prevalent, the Vigilante Group has consistently played a complimentary role and provided the much needed intelligence backbone to the Police and the Nigerian Armed Forces.”
“VGN personnel can serve as an important component of first line of defence when given the opportunity. We are in every border town, and villages assisting the Customs and Immigration agencies.”