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Curse of oil: We’re learning from Nigeria’s mistakes – kuffour

Former Ghanaian President, John Kuffour, said yesterday that his country was learning fast from Nigeria’s experience to ensure that oil did not become a curse to Ghana.

He spoke against the backdrop of recent discovery of crude oil in commercial quantities in Ghana,and what role oil has played in the dislocation of Nigeria’s socio-economic and political development.

Kuffour, who spoke in an interview at the Presidential Wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, also advised politicians in the country to play by the rules, as the 2011 general elections approach.

“We are very much learning by the Nigerian experience and we hope oil will be a blessing rather than a curse,” President Kuffour said.

He cautioned politicians in Nigeria to be careful not to subvert the constitution in their quest for power, stressing that had been the bane of leadership crisis on the continent of Africa.

Kuffour said much of the political crisis in Africa could have been averted had leaders on the continent respected their guiding principle, which is the constitution.

He said:  “Politicians in Nigeria should play by the constitution.  African leaders should play the by constitution of our nations.”

The former Ghanaian leader, however, noted that gradual improvement was being made in Africa with regards to democratic governance, the political crisis in Niger, Equatorial Guinea notwithstanding.

“It’s always unfortunate that there is a crisis of leadership, but I will say overall… I believe Africa is making a headway.  Above all, we are improving.

“It will take time for Africa to get out of its leadership crisis.  It is a process; Africa is integrating from more difficult time into better times ahead,” said Kuffour.


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