When Winston Churchill gave a message from France to Britain during the World War 11, he said the news from France was bad because British soldiers were being bombarded, but Patmos Media Line can gladly inform you that the news from Ethiopia where the 34th session of the African Union meeting is holding is good for Nigeria.
Nigeria’s Ambassador and former Permanent Representative of Nigeria to Ethiopia and the AU, His Excellency, Bankole Adeoye won as Commissioner for Political Affairs, Peace and Security in the election that took place late on Saturday in Ethiopia.
He had beaten his South African opponent who was reportedly declared ineligible to contest by 55- vote to nil claiming a landslide victory.
There was no abstention in the elections as everyone voted for him.
Earlier, Patmos Media Line had reported that Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geofrey Onyeama had said Ambassador Adeoye was the most eligible for the job.
Nigeria's Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibajo congratulates Ambassador Adeoye while Foreign Minister Onyyeama and others look on. File Photo.
Patmos Media Line went into the archives to bring you his speech in 2018.
Statement Delivered by H.E. Bankole Adeoye, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Nigeria to Ethiopia and the AU, on the Occasion of 2018 Africa Day Celebration, May 25th 2018
• Excellencies, • Chairperson of AUC, H.E. Moussa Faki Mahmat, • State Minister of FA of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, • Amb. of the Republic of Congo representing the Amb. of Rwanda as PRC Chair. • Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of H. E. President Muhammadu Buhari, Champion of the theme,
It gives me distinct pleasure to deliver short remarks on the celebration of the 2018 Africa Day. I consider it an honour, to speak on a day, set aside to commemorate the founding of our continental body. This day is significant in many respects, one it reinforces African solidarity, unity in diversity, common strategy to challenges and consolidate successes, and the economic potential of the continent and its people. And, through this Day, awareness and consciousness is raised about the state of affairs in Africa and the determination of its people to be liberated politically, economically and socially.
2. Our 2018 theme is a pace-setter. For the first time ever in the AU theme for this year’s Africa Day, “Winning the fight against corruption: A sustainable path to Africa’s transformation” is a great opportunity to focus on one of the most critical issues militating against Africa’s development agenda: the scourge of corruption, a phenomenon extremely hostile to our collective desire for the realization of the Africa we want, as encapsulated in Agenda 2063.
3. At the official launch of this theme in January, 2018 President Muhammadu Buhari stated and I quote Corruption is, without doubt, one of the greatest enemies of our time. It runs completely counter to our core and shared values of justice, the sense of fairness, law and order, equity and equality. Corruption is antithetical to our collective aspiration to achieve sustainable development.
4. With a bulging youth population unfortunately, resources meant to secure the future of our youth are often siphoned and misappropriated through sharp corrupt practices including Illicit Financial Flows out of Africa. According to a report by UNECA, during the period 2000-2015, net illicit financial flows between Africa and the rest of the world averaged US$73 billion (at 2016 prices) per year from trade misinvoicing alone. This by far, dwarfed the total amount that Africa received as official Development Assistant in that same period. This parallel, is drawn to drive home the point that, If Africa address the issue of corruption, there would be more than enough resources to achieve our developmental aspirations. We will equally realize our regional integration programs including AfCFTA, free movement of persons and right of establishment.
5. Corruption has further exacerbated the paradox of a naturally endowed continent, but poor citizenry, as wealth which could otherwise have been invested in the continent are transferred to other parts of the globe, thereby deepening further, the cycle of poverty. Corruption is indeed one of the major impediments to structural transformation in Africa. With the close links between corruption and poor governance in mind, it is no wonder that concrete national plans and programs are relegated for short term benefits of corrupt individuals. Corruption is not only limited to those in the public sector but cuts across all facets of the African society, ranging from high-level political graft on the scale of millions of dollars to low level petty bribes. Therefore, we must not relent in reversing that ugly tide.
6. As we mark Africa Day today, we reminded of what the founding leaders of the OAU and later the AU, had envisaged when they called for continental unity. As citizens, we are challenged to renew our commitment to unity and solidarity that carried our forebears to victory over the subjugation of colonialism and apartheid. In this regard, we must all work consciously to change the narrative of Africa being widely considered among the world’s most corrupt region, a factor seen as contributing to the stunted development of many African States. First, we must continue to support the significant strides made by the AU, in putting in place legal policy frameworks, notably the African Union Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption (AUCPCC).
7. It is therefore necessary, at this point, to underscore the need to popularize this convention, by calling on those member states who are yet to sign up to this legal instrument, to do so, in the best interest of the continent. As stated by President Muhammadu Buhari in his capacity as the Champion of AU theme on Anti-corruption and I quote;” To build a sustainable future that works for everyone, African leaders must work relentlessly to ensure that no one is left behind based on a sense of desperation and frustration that questions the globally acclaimed benefits of technology, trade, inclusive growth and development and globalization. Corruption is a denial of Human Rights. It is a damaging phenomenon on the Rights to Developments.
8. To win the fight against corruption, therefore, we must have a change of mind set. Changing the state of play requires a greater awareness as a means to instil better and more transparent values in, the citizenry especially our youth. It is in recognition of this fact and the centrality of the youth in this endeavour that the Nigerian Government will host in collaboration with the African Union Advisory Board on Corruption and AU Commission- Department of Political Affairs to host the African youth congress against corruption in Abuja. The main purpose of the youth rally is to further create awareness about the ills of corruption on the continent and most importantly, to incorporate in the youth, as major agents of change, the fight against the hydra-headed monster of corruption. Nigeria as champion of the 2018 theme remains resolutely committed, under President Muhammadu Buhari’s leadership to defeat corruption. Thus Nigeria through the AU has prioritized curbing Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs), developing common African position on asset recovery and return as well as strengthening National Anticorruption Agencies (NACA) and Judicial systems.
9. As we set off on this honorable path this year, I must however caution that, fighting corruption is not going to be a straight forward task given and that corruption does fight back. We should not be distracted from pushing forward our common goal as it is to eradicate corruption in the best interest of Africa and to build a prosperous continent.
10. Before concluding, I would like to quote one of the great sons of Africa; Kwame Nkurumah of the Republic of Ghana and of blessed memory where he said ” the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge - a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve - to achieve the highest excellence and the fullest greatness of man”.
11. Africa must be courageous and bold to instill zero tolerance for corruption in all endeavor. We must transition from deep corruption to a more transparent and accountable society. We all agree that the most sustainable pathway for impact in the fight against corruption rests on the pillars of PREVENTION, Enforcement, Public Engagement and Behavioral Change and Asset Recovery. African Youth and Women must remain in the vanguard of wining this battle.
Excellencies, AU Chairperson, State Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Historically, when our joint resolve is strong, Africa wins its battles and wars!!
Africa won the fight against apartheid, Africa defeated colonialism and Africa can win the fight against corruption.
I thank you for listening, Happy Africa Day, God Bless Africa.