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29.11.2003 General News

We must stop joking about African Unity - Speaker

By GNA
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Accra, Nov. 29, GNA - Speaker of Parliament, Mr Peter Ala Adjetey on Friday said African nations must take practical steps to remove the various barriers between African countries, if the talk about African Unity was to become a reality.

He made the remark when a 10-member Nigerian Parliamentary Delegation called on him in his office, as part of their three-day visit to the country to attend a seminar on petroleum.

The Speaker noted that economic and political blocks were being built in the rest of the world while African countries saw more impossibilities than possibilities in making the dream of African Unity a reality.

He said, "the west takes us for granted because they have seen our un-seriousness about fostering unity and moving forward as one people," adding "no wonder they associate us only with things like HIV/AIDS, conflicts and others, for which they pretend to provide relief and make mockery of us in the process".

Mr Adjetey said considering the amounts of money the West gives to other nations where they have interests, to what they give to Africa as a continent in a whole year, one was not far from right to say that they simply took Africa for a joke and in the process they even benefited more from African economies.

He said, "unless African countries realised the folly in remaining as individual states and, thereby ensuring that the various barriers are removed, we will remain in our state of poverty and generations after us would become captives of our folly.

"We must take our destiny into our hands and ensure that we move forward as a united people," he said. "It is about time our leaders adhered to the dictates of the various protocols on African Unity signed by our people's and removed the visa requirement and other barriers to African Unity."

Mr Farouk M. Lawan, Chairman of the Finance Committee of the House of Representative of Nigerian General Assembly, pledged that he and his colleagues would echo the concerns of the Speaker wherever they went to ensure that African Leaders took the issue of African Unity more seriously.

Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, Leader of the delegation, said "we chose Ghana for our seminar because it is the best place which comes to mind when one wants to get away from the pressures of the Nigerian environments to hold such seminars".

He said the visit to the Speaker was to pay their respects to him and to the entire House and also to learn from the experiences of their colleagues in Ghana.

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