Mudavadi: African leaders should promote constitutionalism, democracy

May 31, 2023

African leaders should build strong political foundations for the growth of democracy and economic power in the continent, Prime Cabinet Secretary (PCS) Musalia Mudavadi has said.

He said it is high time that African leaders seize the opportunity being presented by the changing global dynamics to promote constitutionalism, progressive democracy and fidelity to the rule of law.

“The tenets of democracy call for fidelity in the rule of law and adhering to the set guidelines stipulated under the constitution. African leaders should rise to the occasion and be an example of leaders who mean well for their people by applying what is right at all the times.” said Mudavadi.

Mudavadi made the remarks in sideline bilateral talks when he represented President William Ruto at the inauguration of the 16th President of Nigeria, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

With the tough economic times being witnessed globally, Mudavadi said African countries have found themselves in a precarious situation.

This, he stated, calls for political stability, peace and sustainable democratic space if countries are to build a new economic frontier for sustainable growth.

Once African countries, through their leaders, embrace political competition to demonstrate the will of the people in progressive democratic growth, he affirmed that Africa will rise to be counted on the global map.

“In democracy, you have to agree there is a moment you will win and there is a moment you will lose. Leaders should always remember that the will of the people through a transparent, credible, verifiable, legal and accepted process prevails over personal selfish interests. It is always paramount to let the will of the people be done,” he stated.

He lobbied for an enhanced bi-lateral collaboration between Kenya and Nigeria, saying that the two countries continue to enjoy cordial relations cutting across many spheres.

The PCS said Kenya and Nigeria have recently had extensive discussions on key areas of interest that will benefit citizens of not only both countries but also the continent.

He cited a number of instruments of cooperation signed between the two countries as an anchor to commitments in trade, service delivery and growth in democracy.

“We have signed quite a number of agreements including one that establishes a joint commission for cooperation dating back to 2013, one on cooperation in immigration matters signed in May 2014, and many more,” pointed Mudavadi.

He called upon Ministries of Foreign Affairs in the two countries to work closely with respective High Commissions to ensure progressive evaluation and monitoring of resolutions when the instruments of cooperation were signed.

Mudavadi said there lies a huge potential if some of the other agreements can be fully actualized including the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Bilateral Air Service Agreement, the Bilateral Trade Agreement of 2014 and the MoU on a Five-Year multiple entry VISA for prominent business persons.

“Establishing a joint trade and investment committee as envisaged in the Bilateral Trade Agreement of 2014 is one of the areas we need to quickly operationalize. This will be a key starting point that will open critical areas of discussion and shape collaboration ties for Kenya and Nigeria,” said Mudavadi.

Also during the talks, the current situation in the transport connectivity between Kenya and Nigeria were deliberated upon, with the latter’s domestic flight sector said to have a massive potential in which Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways can tap into.

Kenya and Nigeria are important players in their respective regions.

While Nigeria is the largest economy in Africa, Kenya is a major economic hub in East Africa thus the many opportunities for trade and investment between the two countries.

The main exports from Kenya to Nigeria include tea, horticultural products, textiles, and processed foods, while Nigeria exports petroleum products, cement, and chemicals to Kenya.

Another area of interest is shared diplomacy of conflict management, where Kenya is ingrained in seeking solutions to conflicts in EAC and IGAD countries while Nigeria keeps watch on the volatile western rim of Africa.

Mudavadi presented congratulatory and message of good will to the new President, with the change of power as million of Nigerians and leaders from across the globe witnessed.

“Kenya is committed to continuous collaboration with Nigeria on bilateral, trade and diplomatic ties across many sectors ranging from agriculture, technology, renewable energy and the service industry,” said Mudavadi.

“I am honored to represent Ruto in the ceremony and delivered his message of good will and best wishes on behalf of Kenyans to the new President. We wish President Tinubu a successful and peaceful tenure moving into the future as this is the ultimate expression of democracy, constitutionalism and the rule of law,” Mudavadi stated.

Tinubu of All Peoples’ Congress (APC), won a hotly contested presidential election held on February 25 after garnering 8,794,726 votes.

Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was second with 6,984,520 votes while Peter Obi of the Labour Party was third with 6,101,533 votes.

Tinubu, 70, was briefly the senator for Lagos West (1992-93) as well as the Governor of Lagos for two terms between 1999 and 2007.

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