Vice President Shettima Urges Africans to Question Fragile Democracy, Calls for Regional Unity

Vice President Kashim Shettima has called on Africans to critically examine the nature of democracy practiced in their respective countries, citing concerns about the fragility of democracy across the continent. Speaking at the 6th Annual Lecture/Conference of the Association of Foreign Relations Professionals of Nigeria in Abuja, Shettima highlighted the need for Africa to address its democratic challenges head-on to pave the way for sustainable political processes.

Represented by his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, the vice president emphasized the importance of questioning the type of democracy practiced in Africa and identifying necessary reforms to strengthen democratic institutions. Shettima stressed that addressing these issues is crucial for Africa’s collective progress, as the continent shares fundamental aspects such as its economy and political processes.

Assuring Nigeria’s commitment to restoring peace in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Baba-Ahmed reiterated the country’s dedication to resolving regional conflicts and promoting stability within the sub-region. He acknowledged Nigeria’s role in addressing membership issues within ECOWAS and expressed the nation’s willingness to collaborate with other member states to overcome challenges and foster integration.

In his remarks, Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf Tuggar underscored the importance of collective efforts in advancing democracy, acknowledging that democracy, while ideal, requires constant work to achieve greatness. Tuggar also highlighted Nigeria’s commitment to democracy and emphasized the non-threatening nature of the country to its neighbors, echoing President Bola Tinubu’s emphasis on democracy as one of the key pillars of governance.

The article also touches on the recent challenges faced by ECOWAS, including military takeovers in member states such as Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger, which have posed threats to regional stability. The exit of three countries from ECOWAS and subsequent economic sanctions underscored the organization’s struggle to maintain unity and security within the sub-region. However, recent interventions, including Nigeria’s involvement led by former military head of state Gen. Yakubu Gowon, have contributed to easing tensions and restoring diplomatic relations within ECOWAS.


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