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Peer review good for Nigeria’s democracy – Buhari;  Pledges support for united Cameroon  

President Buhari presents Nigeria’s Self Assessment Report to Lead Panel member for the Country Review Mission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Dr Abdoulie Janneh accompanied by Chairman NGC APRM Nigeria Sen. Abba Ali and CEO African Peer Review Mechanism Princess Gloria Akobundu in State House on 13th July 2021

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday in Abuja pledged that Nigeria will continue to support the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) process because of its benefits to good governance and democracy.

The President gave the assurance at the launch of Nigeria Second Review Country Self-Assessment Report and Flag–off of the Validation of the Report at the six geo-political zones of the country, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
Describing the review as ‘‘timely and handy’’, President Buhari explained that the present administration with its change mantra agenda, has overhauled, revitalized and institutionalised its machinery for a successful conduct of the second peer review of the country.
President Buhari receives in audience Mr Felix Mbayu, Minister delegate in charge of Cooperation with the Commonwealth and Special Envoy of H.E. Paul Biya , President of Cameroon in State House on 13th July 2021
The President, at the State House, Abuja, also on Tuesday, pledged that Nigeria will offer the best support possible to ensure that the Republic of Cameroon remains an indivisible country.
He gave the promise President while receiving Mr Felix Mbayu, a Special Envoy from President Paul Biya of Cameroon.
At the Peer Review programme, the President recalled that Nigeria was first peer reviewed in 2008 and since then has recorded tremendous success in the implementation of the National Programme of Action as recommended.
He reiterated the commitment of his administration to the implementation of the new National Programme of Action that will come up after the review process.
‘‘Agenda 2063 is a strategic framework for the socio-economic transformation of the African continent over the next 50 years with a strong mandate on NEPAD and APRM.
‘‘This is in an attempt to build on and seek the acceleration of the implementation of past and present continental initiatives for the growth and sustainable development of the African Continent.
‘‘This exercise will be a strong reference point in the nation’s history, a source of courage and positive drive for this initiative that is aimed at consolidating the strides of this present administration.
‘‘In addition, this administration has been very supportive and will continue to support the APRM Process in Nigeria knowing the importance of the process which enhances transparency and good governance, strengthens our democracy, identifies and addresses critical challenges as well as promotes all-inclusiveness,’’ he said.
The President therefore urged all stakeholders to come up with more vital strategies, mechanisms and measures that would enable diligent implementation of the new National Programme of Action for accelerated Economic Growth and Sustainable Development in Nigeria and Africa.
In her remarks, the National Coordinator/Chief Executive Officer of AUDA-NEPAD Nigeria, Hon. Gloria Akobundu thanked President Buhari for his transparency, courageous leadership and for consenting to the conduct of the Second Peer Review of Nigeria and his consistency in achieving the desired goal.
‘‘African Peer Review Mechanism is a mirror for Member States to encourage each other and build resilience to challenges and foster solutions to under development and promote good governance in the continent,’’ she said.
Akobdundu explained that after the Validation of the Country Self-Assessment Report, there are other activities to be effectively accomplished to ensure effectual completion of the Second Peer Review Process.
She listed them as follows:
‘‘The Issue Paper, New National Programme of Action, Presentation of the Report and Peer Review of Nigeria at the APR Forum of Heads of State and Government, Institutionalization of the Country Review Report (CRR), Launch of the Country Review Report (CRR) and Continuous Assessment of the Progress and Presentation of Progress Report to the AU-APRM.”
She pledged that the agency will leave no stone unturned to ensure that a smooth process is attained.
The event was attended by the Country Self-Assessment Mission led by Dr. Abdoulie Janneh of Gambia, a former Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, the Chief Executive Officer of AU-APRM Secretariat, Prof. Eddy Maloka, among others.
Receiving President Biya’s envoy, President Buhari said Nigeria and Cameroon share historical ties and common borders, which make it imperative for the two countries to look out for each other’s well-being.
“That was why when I first came to office in 2015, I immediately visited all our neighbours, because we are very clear about the value of good neighbourliness.
“You will have problems if your neighbours are not cultivated. And our relationship with Cameroon had been very clear since when I was serving in the military. The country offered us needed support during our Civil War,” the President said.
Saying Nigeria was acutely aware of the separatist agitation by the Ambazonian movement, President Buhari submitted that it was in the interest of Nigeria “to ensure that Cameroon is stable, and we will be steadfast in our support for you.”
Mr Felix Mbayu, who is also Minister Delegate in Charge of Cooperation with the Commonwealth, said President Biya was happy with the role Nigeria was playing in Africa, noting that the two neighbours share not just borders and historical ties, “but also common challenges.”
“These challenges border on security specially, and it is incumbent on us both to find common solutions,” he added.
The Special Envoy said President Biya looked forward to a situation in which Nigerian territory would not be available for the Ambazonian movement to destabilize Cameroon, “as some people are taking advantage of some crises in the two English speaking parts of Cameroon to break the country apart.”

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