Take a stand against Boko Haram, Ex-US Asst Secretary of State tells FG

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By JIMITOTA ONOYUME & MICHAEL EBOH
PORT HARCOURT—    The Federal Government has been advised to take a decisive stand to end terrorist activities of the Boko Haram insurgents in the country.

Speaking, yesterday, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State at an Energy Environment and Investment forum organised by the Rivers State Government, former United State’s Assistant Secretary of States, Mr. James Rubin, said there was urgent need for the government to take a firm position on the ugly situation.

He said Nigeria was going through what he dubbed the “second generation of terrorism in the world,” stressing that steps should be taken to wipe it out if the country was to enjoy investors confidence.

He said the government had been flirting with different approaches on how to tackle the challenge, noting that it was high time it decided on what to do.

He said: “Either the government or another one makes a decision to confront the situation. One day it is amnesty, another day it is military operation. Then you talk about assistance from outside.

“I say this as a friend. What you are going through is the second generation of terrorism in the world. Most countries have gone through it. Please do not wait for the next level. I say this as a friend.”

Former Prime Minister of Spain, Jose Luis Zapatero on his part, called for collective effort to make democracy succeed in African continent, adding that no culture or religion should be seen as superior to the other.

Condemning acts of terrorism in the continent, he said the rule of law and respect for rights was the needed instruments for a healthy democratic setting.

The former Prime Minister of Spain, Mr. Zapatero also expressed hope that Nigeria had the capacity of being among top economies in the world by 2020, stressing that only in a democracy would there be peaceful coexistence in a pluralistic setting.

He said: “Only in a democracy can there be peaceful living among the various ethnic groups. Democracy and political equality is the instrument to unite people.”

Former President of Poland, Mr. Lech Walesa enjoined Nigeria to use its vast human and capital resources to its advantages, noting that steps should be taken to evolve global solutions to challenges.

Former Prime Minister of France, Francois Fillon called for credible elections in African continent, noting that prolongation of mandates had often threatened the political space in the continent.

Former President of Ghana, Mr. John Koffuor, who gave the keynote address on Sustainable Energy the Key to Africa’s investment, called on Africa countries to invest in technology that would end gas flaring in the continent.

He charged African leaders to promote rule of law, respect for constitutional rights and also fight against corruption, while urging governments in the region to pursue solar energy development.

“Africa should follow China and Americans in the area of energy development,” he said.

The host, Governor Rotimi Amaechi earlier in his welcome address, spoke extensively on the effort of his administration in the development of the power sector, describing energy as the bond between   development in the different spheres of society.

Amaechi said; “Energy is the bond that connects economic, social, and environmental development.

“It is a launching pad for economic growth and plays a pivotal role in any attempt to achieve sustainable development. No country can successfully reduce poverty without adequately addressing its energy needs.”

 

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