Former President Goodluck Jonathan and Chairman of the ECOWAS Council of the Wise( CoW) on Tuesday said it is high time African leaders realised that once they win election to become president of their country, they should see themselves as president to all, not to a section of the country.
Dr. Jonathan who is also the chief mediator on the crisis in Mali while briefing the press in Lagos of the activities of his council said one of the key pillars of the ECOWAS Peace and Security Architecture, the Council is involved in is preventive diplomacy and mediation interventions in regional conflict management, resolution and prevention.
He noted that, the major challenges African leaders are having is that they have chosen not to work with members of the opposition parties while in office, because they see them as enemies.
“Immediately you win the election you must be the president of everybody. And if we practice that and begin to work with every good citizen in the country that has something to offer then some of these conflicts that are somehow politically related or instigated will begin to go down.
“It is not going to be a one-day business, it is going to be a business that we will do for one year. Other members will take over and maybe they will modify our action plan and also move on. And if we continue to practice that for a period of five years to 10 years I believe some of these practices that are catalysing these crises in the sub-region will begin to go down,” Jonathan said.
According to him, as part of a strategy to put the development of the region in a fast lane, he said that the region was reconsidering re-capitalizing its regional bank.
“We also looked at some other things like, we have recommended that the ECOWAS Bank of Investment and Development should be capitalised properly and restructure it so that it will play a key role in assisting people in the private sector to build small and medium scale industries across the sub region. That will increase the opportunity of young people getting loans to develop businesses and also create jobs for others.”