By Akanimo Sampson
Former Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan says Africa needs huge investments to create jobs and employ its teeming youthful population, in a frantic bid to steer them away from crimes, conflicts and illegal migration.
Jonathan was speaking at the weekend in Seoul, capital of South Korea at the International Leadership Peace Conference with many world leaders including government officials, former presidents, lawmakers and entrepreneurs in attendance.
According to the former Nigerian leader, “When people say that Africa lags behind other continent in terms of strategic and sustainable development, it is because the continent is yet to find answers to the problems of insecurity that have persisted in our communities.
“The International Summit Council for Peace (ISCP) -Africa which I lead will be joining hands with other well-meaning people of the world to embark on initiatives that will contribute greatly to lasting peace for the whole human family.’’
He said “As leaders and members of the global community the onus is on us to continue to work for a peaceful world. It is the only rational choice we have. What distinguishes us as humans from the rest of God’s creation is the ability to govern and condition our earthly space and make it conducive for the healthy exercise of peoples’ rights and freedoms.
“We will continue to work for peace and the well-being of our societies because the absence of peace takes us out of that rational zone that sustains vision and optimism, thereby increasing the tendency for strife, conflicts and despair.
“The Hobbesian picture of the dilemma where hope recedes and life becomes nasty, brutish and short is never far away. We must all therefore, as political leaders, clergy, civil society and people, join hands as one family under God’ to cultivate a working approach to peace and development.’’
He is, therefore, calling for global collaboration in peace-building, stressing that world leaders need to work together to be able to surmount the huge security and economic challenges faced by various nations.
Jonathan who observed that peace is a product of a conscious and diligent effort also charged those in positions of authority to strive to bequeath a more peaceful world to future generations, added, “We can never over-emphasize the need for global collaboration in peace-building. The stability that the world needs today for peace and security requires all voices of reason to join the effort to bring order to the chaos that stare us in the face.
“We need to work together as leaders to provide meaning and moral direction in every sphere of the society to realise our aspirations for a just world. The peace and tranquility we observe in some countries today came through the diligent efforts of the citizens. Our generation must strive to make the world a peaceful place.’’
The former Nigerian president who emerged as the Chair of the ISCP, a recently inaugurated forum of African former Heads of State, however stressed that peace and stability engenders development because they create necessary conditions that cultivate, nurture and protect investments.