COMMONWEALTH WARNS AFRICAN LEADERS ON POST-ELECTION VIOLENCE
By Tope Sunday
Deputy Secretary-General, (Political), Commonwealth Secretariat, Dr. Josephine Ojiambo, has warned African leaders to avoid any form of post- election violence and learn how to deploy internal mechanism to resolve their internal conflicts.
She said managing post- election violence could be very difficult especially where external influences were allowed to meddle in the political affairs and process of managing consequences of local crisis.
Ojiambo, a former Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative of Kenya to the United Nations, spoke at the 7th International Students’ Day organised by the University of Ilorin Centre for International Studies in Ilorin, Kwara State on Monday.
She said: ‘‘I want to call on all of us to avoid post-election violence, conflict is very difficult to manage particularly if you allow external influence’’.
Ojiambo praised Nigeria’s former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, for conceding defeat during the 2015 general elections, which ushered in President Muhmmadu Buhari as the incumbent president of Nigeria.
The deputy Secretary- General acknowledged that though ‘‘Professor Attahiru Jega’s led Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) conducted a free, fair and credible election, Jonathan’s concession’’ of defeat saved Nigeria from the kind of post election that would have engulfed the country like it was experienced in her country ,Kenya in 2011.
She said the commonwealth, which comprises 53 members nation was working on its new mandate of ‘‘preventing violent extremism’’ even as she said that the commonwealth secretariat was also working on how to come up with a ‘‘legal framework that will regulate cyber space’’.
The diplomat said though cyber network could be useful in achieving positive ideals, ‘‘it can be easily used to lead young ones astray’’.
While presenting her lecture titled ‘‘Internalisation of Higher Education : Opportunities a For African Students’’, Ojiambo, advised international students to always explore the opportunities of diaspora and bring home only positive values that could bring about the development of their various countries .
In his address titled ‘’Future Interest’’, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali, said ‘‘the future of survival of the human race’’ depends on the choices international education made by people from the African continent.
Director of the Centre for International Education, Professor Mohammed Ibrahim, said the institution has 272 international students from 18 countries with 21 international staff.