..Seeks collaboration between Nigeria, Ghana to fight corruption
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday in Accra, Ghana, said with the right leadership and implementation of public policies, Africa’s drive to eradicate poverty and entrench democracy is on course.
President Buhari who stated this in his speech at Ghana’s 61st Independence anniversary celebration at the Independence Square in Accra, sought for partnership Nigeria and Ghana in tackling the menace of endemic corruption.
According to the statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, the President said that Nigeria and Ghana were benefitting immensely from leaders committed to improving their economies and tackling corruption.
Quoting one of the founding fathers of Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah President Buhari said, “those who would judge us merely by the heights we have achieved would do well to remember the depths from which we started”.
He further said, “No words can sum it up better as we are all familiar with our colonial era journey and its ups and downs. My tribute also goes to all those who have paid the supreme sacrifices in the cause of nation-building.”
He commended President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana on his achievements in the first year in office, lauding his committed fight against corruption and the passing of the Special Prosecutors Bill into law.
He pledged Nigeria’s support to Ghana in the fight against corruption, noting that the menace of corruption had eaten into the fabrics of both societies.
He said, ‘‘From Nigeria, I have watched closely your achievements, ranging from your ingenious approach to creating jobs for the teeming youths through various initiatives, including the repositioning of agriculture for modern farming, ‘Farming for Jobs and Food’, Senior High School (SHS) free education, One-District-One-Factory, and One-Village-One-Dam as well as the improvement being recorded in the Republic’s macroeconomic indicators.
‘‘All these efforts, I am aware, have made Ghana to become a good destination for foreign direct investment just like Nigeria. Accept my congratulations.
‘‘I congratulate both the government and the Parliament for the quick passage of the Office of the Special Prosecutor Act and its signing into law.
‘‘Your Excellency can be assured that you have a good partner in me as I look forward to any form of collaboration between Nigeria and Ghana in tackling the menace of endemic corruption.
‘‘Given all these public policies, it becomes reassuring that with the right leadership, Africa’s drives to eradicate poverty and to entrench democracy is on course.”
President Buhari, who was the special guest of honour at the ceremony, recounted the historic and cultural ties between Nigeria and Ghana, urging citizens of both countries to uphold the fraternal relations.
He said, ‘‘It is, therefore, my strong desire that we owe it as a duty to ensure that our good peoples continue to live in each other’s countries unhindered.
‘‘Our newly rejuvenated Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation has already provided us with good platform in resolving any differences while focusing on our main developmental objectives.”
Commenting on peace and security in West Africa, the President commended Akufo-Addo’s contribution to ensuring peace in neighbouring Togo.
He said, ‘‘Permit me to put on record, Ghana’s untiring efforts in brokering peace in Togo, by bringing all the warring parties to the negotiation table. I am appealing to the opposing parties in Togo to please come together and resolve their differences so that Togo will move forward.
‘‘In the same vein, I wish Nigeria and Ghana to continue to provide the impetus in realising the objectives and ideals of the founding fathers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), to ensure security, peace and development of our region.
“Nigeria and Ghana share close cultural and historic ties, which have continued to shape our bilateral relations. Once again, I note with pride that our common colonial experience, as well as parallel socio-economic and political development and the patriotic vision of our leaders have helped greatly in shaping this unique relationship not only in West Africa sub-region but in our collaborative actions internationally.
“It is therefore my strong desire that we owe it as a duty to ensure that our good peoples continue to live in each other’s countries unhindered. Our newly rejuvenated Permanent Joint Commission for Cooperation has already provided us with good platform in resolving any differences while focusing on our main developmental objectives.