By Henry Umoru
ABUJA— DEPUTY Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has said if the Commonwealth must outgrow its present position, achieve prosperity, peace, security, and sustainable development, it must address the issues of inequity, natural resource depletion, and disrespect for human rights and rule of law.
According to Ekweremadu, it is high time the Commonwealth transcended the Commonwealth of Nations to Commonwealth of People to ensure that everybody counted.
He stated this in London, yesterday, while addressing the opening session of the inaugural Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ Forum currently engaging on the agenda themes of the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting, CHOGM, scheduled for London in April this year.
In a statement, yesterday, by his Special Adviser, Media, Uche Anichukwu, the Deputy Senate President commended CHOGM 2018 for focusing on boosting intra-Commonwealth trade and investment, increasing cooperation on the war against global terrorism and organised crimes, building member states’ resilence to deal with the effects of climate change, and promoting democratic values across member nations.
Ekweremadu said: “The truth is that the world may never enjoy true prosperity and sustainability in the absence of security, justice, and fairness. Security itself is a direct derivative of fairness and prosperity.
“So long as there is injustice, unequal or unfair distribution of resources, opportunities, and prosperity; so long as unabated hunger, poverty, and preventable diseases pillage the overwhelming majority, for so long will peace and security continue to elude the world.
“Importantly, the insecurity of a part is the insecurity of the whole. The rule is that when evil men and women conspire, the good men and women must congregate, and always keep steps ahead.”
He described the protracted Boko Haram insurgency and herdsmen/farmers crises as practical examples of how natural resource depletion and inequality adversely affect security and prosperity.
He explained: “Lake Chad, which is a major source of livelihood for parts of Niger Republic, Chad, Nigeria, and Cameroon has shrunk from 25,000 square kilometres in the 1960s to just 2,500 square kilometres today.”