PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has urged Africa’s traditional and religious leaders to assist governments in addressing cyber-crime, human and drug trafficking, and disruptive social media challenges.
The president made the call at the ongoing Regional Conference for African Traditional and Religious Leaders on Keeping Girls in School held at NICON Luxury Hotel, Abuja, on Monday.
He said that leaders should advise and assist their respective governments on strategies for combating the challenges which constituted barriers to the continent’s stability.
“I appeal to Your Majesties to bring your influence to bear and help your governments in combating the modern-day challenges we face.
“Globalisation in the latter part of the 20th Century and in the 21st Century has brought in its wake, huge destructive problems such as insurgency, human and drug trafficking, cyber-crimes and disruptive social media.
“May I, therefore, remind Your Majesties of the important role to play.
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“Your role is to advise and assist your governments in combating these challenges which present barriers to our continent’s stability and efforts to catch up with the rest of the world,’’ he said.
The president, who described traditional leaders as “original guardians of history, security, traditions, customs and culture’’, said they had not lost their dignity or esteem in spite of their change from “absolute monarchs to traditional leaders’’.
On educating the girl-child, Buhari called on African governments to ensure that young African girls completed a minimum of 12 years of education with all its benefits for the continent.
He said, “At the very least, by the age of 14 our girls should be literate, numerate with computer skills and preliminary training to face life in the 21st century.
“I very much hope all African governments will support and implement this initiative.’’
In a keynote address, United Nation’s Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed, represented by UN Deputy Special Representative for West Africa and the Sahel Region, Ruby Sandy-Rojon, emphasized the critical essence of educating the girl-child to the African economy.
Earlier in his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, disclosed that the conference was organized to proffer workable strategies to girl-child education across the continent.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference was attended by traditional and religious leaders as well as youths from 22 African countries.