The President has emphasised the need to ensure election processes in Africa have outcomes that truly reflect the wishes of the electorate.
President Muhammadu Buhari who made the emphasis in Belgium warned that going contrary to credible election process would lead to instability.
“We have a responsibility to reduce conflicts that stem from lack of good governance, unaccountability, corruption, and social exclusion,” he told European leaders on Thursday at the roundtable discussion on peace, security, and governance at the ongoing 6th EU-AU Summit.
“Free, fair, credible, and transparent elections remain crucial elements in ensuring peace and security and promoting constitutional order, democracy, and inclusive governance on the continent.
“It is, therefore, imperative for our partnership to also focus on strengthening election processes in Africa and prevent interference to influence the process and outcomes of elections.”
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The President called on European leaders, as partners in promoting democracy and good governance, to lend their weight behind measures put in place by the African Union to stem the tide of unconstitutional leadership changes rearing its head again on the continent.
He stated that Africa has continued to witness different waves of violent extremism, community-based conflicts, and inter-ethnic tensions, notably in rural areas.
Conflicts In Africa
For many decades, according to President Buhari, the continent has been deprived of political stability and socio-economic development due to terrorism and violent extremism.
“More worrisome is the current state of democracy on the continent, which has become a great source of concern to many of us, with increasing cases of unconstitutional change of governments across the continent, particularly in West Africa,” he recounted.
“This is in addition to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The African Union has often responded to these challenges through its different structures, such as the African Peace and Security Architecture and the African Governance Architecture.
“Through enhanced collaboration with our development partners, especially the European Union, we can identify areas of cooperation for quick and substantive results.
“As leaders and policymakers, it is important for our partnership to place priority on tackling the root causes of conflicts in Africa, as well as taking measures in safeguarding peace and security if we are to achieve the African Union Agenda 2063.”
The Nigerian leader also called for stronger support from the EU to condemn and impose weighty sanctions on countries that engage in coups, as well as manipulation of constitutions to extend term limits.