Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman
By Naomi Sharang
Prof. Abubakar Sulaiman, Director-General, National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS) has said that mutual relations among African countries would pitch the continent above the expectations of colonial powers.
He stated this on Monday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of the benchmark visit by a delegation of the Institut Parliamentaire Du Benin (IPAB), led by the Secretary-General, National Assembly Benin Republic, Mr Mariano Ogoutolou.
Sulaiman said the visit was aimed at sharing ideas on deepening mutual ties between Nigeria and Benin for the good of Africa.
He said it had demonstrated that African countries could learn from each others without necessarily looking up to the advanced democracies.
“It is a further testimony to the fact that we cannot do it alone. Through interactions, mutual relations, interdependence, we can move this continent above expectations of our colonial powers.
“Benin and Nigeria share so many political, cultural and religious history; we all belong to ECOWAS and therefore, we have so many security and strategic interests to share.
“This visit therefore, is a further illustration of that tie between the two countries. I see it as deepening our relations within the content of Africa International Relations.
“No country can be an island unto itself, no country can be a monopoly unto itself, you need to share with other countries especially your neighbouring countries.
“In west Africa, we have series of challenges that border on insecurity, economic development, growth and how do we harness resources to develop our continent.
“We cannot do it all alone as a country without leaning on Benin Republic. We need ourselves to grow our mutual relations. We need to depend on each other to develop both economies,” Sulaiman said.
He further said that the functions of IPAB were similar to that of NILDS, hence “the parliamentary institution like ours are critical in supplying the information for parliament providing technical expertise and building the capacity of legislature and other personnel.”
Ogoutolou said that a partnership between IPAB and NILDS would be of immense benefit to both countries.
“If we come together in creating partnership between IPAB and NILDS, it will benefit both countries because from records, the institution has been doing a great work.
“I’m foreseeing a great future in the partnership because the willingness and the potential are there and we have to craft a way forward for what we need to do,” he said.
Edited by Remi Koleoso