African Leaders on Tuesday unanimously endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari to champion the fight against corruption in the African Union.
The endorsement came at the end of the 29th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of AU in Addis Ababa, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.
The President is expected to champion the theme of the AU summit scheduled for 2018 entitled: “Winning the Fight Against Corruption: Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation’’.
Nigeria’s Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama who gave a synopsis of the summit told NAN that the endorsement was in recognition of Buhari administration’s demonstrable commitment and glowing success in the fight against corruption in Nigeria and globally.
He said: “The endorsement is very significant because it is the recognition of the negative role corruption and bad governance has played.
“I think it is also significant that President Buhari was also asked to champion this because he has been a major inspiration to Africa in frontally combating corruption and bringing positive change towards building a sustainable and prosperous continent.”
He said the president would therefore be expected to provide exemplary and resourceful leadership by working closely with the other African Leaders.
Others are, the AU Commission and development partners to collectively fashion out common programmes for Continent-wide application of the anti-corruption theme in all Member States of the Union.
“The championship role by Buhari will also involve a number of diplomatic initiatives to sensitise and raise awareness of the International Community on the dire consequences of corruption and the collective strategies to defeat it.”
On the need to set up the African Security Fund (ASF), Onyeama said the time had come for the continent to be independent and break free from foreign support.
“Up until now, a lot of our security activities were funded by non African partners and what we have seen is that they have suddenly decided to cut back on what they were providing.
“This is impacting seriously on some of the AU missions like Somalia and South Sudan where AU is not being able to meet up financially; there should be a fund set aside and part of the funding of the organisation should go to us funding peace and security on the continent.’’