Gbagbo should not be allowed to prevail – Kofi Annan

Mr. Kofi Annan

Former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General, Busumuru Kofi Annan has warned of imminent civil war in the Ivory Coast should President Laurent Gbagbo be allowed to subvert the decision of the majority as expressed in last November 28, presidential poll.

Africa and the world must, therefore, act more firmly to get him to cede power to the man internationally recognized as winner of the election, Mr Alassane Outtara. These were contained in excerpts of his lecture mailed to GNA.

Mr Annan said: “If President Gbagbo is allowed to prevail, election as instrument of peaceful political change in Africa will suffer a serious set-back.”

He was delivering a lecture on: “The future of Africa: Challenges and Opportunities” at the Oxford University in London.

Attended by diplomats, business executives, faculty members and students, it was organized by Exeter College, one of the constituent Colleges of the University, to usher in the 700th anniversary of its founding in 2014.

It also coincided with Ayebia Clarke Publishers of Oxford’s publication: “Pilgrims of the Night-Development Challenges and Opportunities in Africa”, a 240 page anthology of development essays edited and co-authored by Ghanaian writer, Ivor Agyeman-Duah.

Busumuru Annan said if there was one area which would determine the direction of Africa’s future then it was the quality of its governance and leadership.

The Former UN Chief said bad leadership was making it difficult for the continent to have profound impact on poverty reduction.

Touching on the recent uprisings in North Africa, which had led to the collapse of the governments in Tunisia and Egypt, he emphasized that the democratic aspirations of the people could not be taken for granted and that “human rights are not a luxury let alone a plot from outside.

“Wherever people live, they want their voices to be heard, their rights respected, and to have a say in how they are governed”, he added.

Busumuru Annan paid tribute to the present generation of Africans for their preparedness to resist oppression, their dynamism, determination and ambition and said this has become a major source of confidence to Africa today.

Added to this, is also a new generation of policy-makers, who are managing their economies better; paying attention to social development and building institutional capacities.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Andrew Hamilton praised Busumuru Annan for his stewardship during his tenure as the UN Chief and for helping to resolve some of the complex issues the world faced.

Source: GNA

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