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General News of Saturday, 13 August 2005

Source: GNA

Nigeria intensifies campaign for permanent seat

Accra, Aug. 13, GNA- Nigeria at the weekend, launched a spirited campaign in Accra for a permanent representation on the United Nations (UN) Security Council, citing the size and population of the oil rich West African country as factors for consideration.

"Nigeria is a regional power in its own right. It is a potentially economic giant. With an estimated population of 130 million, Nigeria is easily the largest single market in Africa," Mr Abdullahi Adamu, Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, said in Accra.

Mr Adamu, who was a Guest Speaker at the launch of a 319 -page book that eulogized the foreign policies of Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, at a seaside hotel in Ghana's national capital, said his country was the most populous black nation in the world.

"One out of every four Africans is a Nigerian. One out of every five blacks in the world is a Nigerian," he said, attracting cheers at the function attended by Ghana's Vice President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, his wife, Hajia Ramatu, Ministers of State from the two countries, members of the Diplomatic Corps, chiefs and journalists.

He said of all the countries that had shown interest in the permanent seat, including Egypt and South Africa, Nigeria was the only true black nation that could raise a purely black national flag. Mr Adamu said although the UN effected some reforms in 1965 by increasing the membership of the Security Council from 11 to 15, no change was made to the five permanent members structure.

He said at that time the world was divided rather neatly between the Western and Eastern blocs with the Non-Aligned nations constituting themselves into swing support for one or the other group as circumstances dictated.

"All these have changed in the 40 years since the reforms. The time calls for some fundamental reforms in the United Nations Security Council in line with contemporary global developments," he noted.

Mr Adamu said military prowess or the possession of means and weapons of mass destruction could no longer be the sole determinant of the relevance of a nation to do its duty to the international community, adding, " Economic power has become even more relevant and Japan has shown the way."

Backing his bid for his country for the Pan African representation, the Executive Governor recalled the role Ghana's first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah played to entrench pan- African Unity. "Here in the historic Ghanaian capital, more than 50 years ago, the great Pan-Africanist, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the Ghanaian President of blessed memory, preached the gospel of Pan-Africa unity and planted in the black race the seeds of black pride.

"But Africa and the peoples of Africa face new struggles and new challenges. The challenges of illiteracy, health care delivery system, poor communications, unemployment, rural-urban drift and of course, poverty are enormous."

Mr Adamu said in Africa's current struggle, President Obasanjo had emerged as Africa's rallying point.

" I can find no place more fitting than Accra, Ghana, to present to the world the man who rules one country but devotes himself to the service of every African, nay, every third world country." Alhaji Mahama who launched the book, " Obasanjo And The New Face Of Nigeria's Foreign Policy", described the Head of State as " a proven colossus of international relations," who had played a role in dealing with sectional and other bloody conflicts in the West African sub-region.

"As a veteran of the political scene in Nigeria, President Obasanjo has had the benefit of being at the helm of the nation in different capacities and forms. He has been a key of the process of political rejuvenation in Africa from experimentation with authoritarianism to the re-establishment and entrenchment of democracy."

Alhaji Mahama congratulated the author, Mr Abdulmumin Jibrin, for a job well done.

" I have the singular honour and privilege of declaring the book...duly launched", he said paving the way for the review and auctioning of the first copy for 30 million naira.

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