WAUU Convocation Lecture: Total Anarchy looms in Africa if….. APC Chieftain Banire
By: Ade Adeleke
A frontline Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr Muiz Adeyemi Banire, has raised the alarm that total anarchy and agitations are looming in most African countries if the current rate of poverty, hunger and injustice are not urgently addressed by political leaders.
Banire, a former National Legal Adviser to the APC, lamented that the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic since last year had further created and increased high rate of unemployment, frustration, poverty and depression among African people.
The legal Icon gave the indications on Friday while delivering the combined 4th & 5th Convocation lecture of the West African Union University Institute (WAUU), Cotonou in Republic of Benin.
The lecture which was delivered virtually, is entitled; “AFRICA IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD: COMBATING THE POST COVID 19 SOCIO-POLITICAL ECONOMIC REALITIES IN THE MIDST OF FIRE SECURITY CHALLENGES”.
The lecture was witnessed by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Republic of Benin, Ambassador Kayode Oguntuase represented by his Deputy, Ambassador Aluko; some traditional rulers from Nigeria and Benin Republic; Women groups as well as staff and students of the University among others.
Speaking earlier, the Founder/President of the University, Dr (Non) Bishop Olayemi Adeyemi and the Vice Chancellor, Prof Sola Ehindero said the convocation lecture was organized to proffer solutions to contemporary challenges facing African continent.
In the lecture, Dr Banire said already poverty and deprivation were causing crimes, ethnic agitations and crises in some countries across Africa.
“Unfortunately, while the gamut of socio-political and economic challenges in Africa has continued to compound insecurity within and across the borders of the Continent, the dimension of the crisis, as post COVlD-19 era has so far revealed, may be daunting and overwhelming for African countries unless urgent steps are taken to strategically deploy emergency and proactive measures which only requires effective governance as well as progressive and people oriented leadership.
“Africa and the Reality of COVlD-19 Pandemic: COVlD-19 Pandemic jolted countries of the world to the reality of emerging public health challenges beyond the immediate borders. The stake of preparedness ahead of future pandemics is getting higher as countries across the world are putting in place measures to stabilise public health system and guarantee socio-economic prosperity.
“Against expectations, it turned out that the statistics of COVlD-19 infections and related deaths in Africa were far below the projections. According to a study by Partnership for Evidence-based Response to COVlD-19 (PERC), the case fatality ratio CFR in Africa has been amazingly lower than the global CFR as a result of favourable climate and large population young people and fewer old-age amongst other factors.
“It is however instructive to note that factors attributable to low rate of COVlD-19 infections in Africa do not, by any stretch of imagination or even act of providence, suggest invulnerability to future pandemics. After all outbreak’of Ebola virus in 2014 was prevalent in parts of Africa without constituting major challenge in other Continents of the World.
“There is the consensus that huge spike of COVlD-19 infections would have left Africa in dire straits considering the poor state of health facilities across the Continent. Notwithstanding that Africa countries have, so far, managed to survive the Armageddon projected for the Continent in the wake of COVlD-19 outbreak, the import of the lessons of the pandemic should not be lost on African countries. The plain truth is that Africa must be prepared and well
“One of the important lessons of COVID -19 is that countries with effective social security policies were able to adapt to the socio-economic challenges threw up by restrictions that became inevitable in curtailing the spread of COVID-19 virus. It is doubtful if most Africa countries would have coped with health challenges and socio-economic instability in the event of a spike in COVID-19 infection.
“It is therefore imperative for Africa continues to appreciate that while COVlD-19 may have spared the Continent large number infections and fatalities, as witnessed in other Continents, there is however the need to relate with the lessons of the pandemic which call for greater attention to the prevailing alarming gaps in socio-political and economic fulfilments of the large population of people across countries of Africa.
“Engaging Post COVID-19 Socio-Political and Economic Realities Prior to COVID-19 pandemic, prevailing socio-political and economic realities in Africa point to the fragility of countries with looming instability across borders.
“However, COVlD-19 pandemic appeared _to have brought the dimension of the crisis closer home to reality. It is evident that the huge gap in health infrastructure in most African countries is alarming and unsuitable for mobilizing the nature of responses witnessed in countries heavily impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond the appalling state of health facilities, the challenge in Africa traverses the political, social and economic terrains.
“Unfortunately, most African countries are still grappling with political challenges which threaten internal stability decades after political independence. The inability to resolve political crisis in some of these countries continues to impact governance negatively with consequences for meeting social and economic aspirations. Post COVID-19 realities for Africa therefore demand greater attention in driving policies and governance to address the gaps in social security.
“CONCLUSION: While Africa has benefited from COVlD-19 donations from international agencies and friendly countries, it is, however, imperative to lament the second fiddle role Africa has thus played in the development and production of COVID -l9 vaccines.
“It is alarming that whereas a country like N igeria has the history of vaccine production that dates back to 19405, no Africa countries played leading role in the discovery and production of COVlD-19 vaccines in the let Century.
“It is not unlikely that vaccination against COVlD-19 infections and future pandemic would be enhanced by assurance that Africa plays crucial roles in the development and production of these vaccines.
“It must be emphasized that vaccine hesitancy in Africa would likely pose a greater challenge in the future unless health professionals and institutions in the Continentare adequately supported to play leading role in responses others.
blic health challenges and more importantly in the production of vaccines that may be a feature of the new normal ahead of future pandemics,” Banire said.
The APC bigwig also recommended good governance to various challenges facing Africa through emergence of quality leadership.