Macron Visit: African Shrine Is African Culture, France Can’t Solve Nigeria’s Security Problem
French President, Emmanuel Macron who visited President Muhammadu Buhari in the State House, Abuja, encouraged the Nigerian president and other African leaders to provide enabling economic and political environments for young people.
Season news unveils that Macron, who stated this while answering questions on what assistance France could render to Nigeria over the violence being unleashed on citizens by herdsmen, said even though France would intervene in some of the challenges facing African countries especially in the war against terrorism, it is not the responsibility of his country to solve African problems.
He said: “First of all, I think the main plan is an African plan and France is not the one to solve or fix African situations. So, what we want to do is that we will intervene and make our presence in Africa and Sahel to fight against terrorism especially in Mali and in the region. And we will stay as long as it is requested by our friends especially Mali.
“We discussed yesterday (Monday) about this issue. But what is important to me is how the different African governments organise themselves to fight against terrorism and get rid of these people and especially jihadism.
“That’s is why I do accompany and promote the G5/Sahel Initiatives, and I think as far as we are organised, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon are very important against Boko Haram,” he said.
Macron also said it was imperative for African leaders to know the reason young people join different terrorist groups and put machinery in place to address it.
“Now, we have better understanding ISIS, why many people are convinced to join these jihadists and these terrorists. That was what we discussed and this is the second part of your question, because sometimes, it is economic and ethnic crisis. And that is why it is very important to build not just the security approach but the stabilisation approach at the same time, to provide new opportunities to these people and convoy two massages.
“Your governments will take care of you. I mean provide security and secondly, your governments can provide opportunities for you. And the best support is not to join crazy people and buy a bunch of guns and do crazy things. It is not opportunity to have any more opportunities. I think is very important.
“That is why I want to accompany different governments and leaders whose main objective is precisely to provide economic projects. I would say inclusive economic and cultural projects, where you provide the way for your young people to get education, jobs as well as to be proud of what you are. I think its extremely important.
“Because in a certain way, what we are experiencing today in Europe is also threatened by terrorism. That is moral crisis. That is cultural crisis. So, not just the issue about security, that for me, is the way to proceed,” he said.
In his briefing, Buhari said they discussed issues bordering on security in the Sahel and thanked France for its support in the fight against terrorism.
Meanwhile, President Macron has explained the rationale behind his decision to visit the African Shrine in Lagos last night, describing it as an “iconic place for African people and culture.”
The French president disclosed that having worked in Nigeria for about 15 years ago, his return to the country this time as a president which he never imagined at that time, was an emotional come-back for him.
According to him, this visit was a good opportunity to return to the African Shrine, noting that apart from the personal pleasure derivable from it, the African Shrine showcases the importance of African culture.
He said he had fond memories of African Shrine. According to him, Fela and his sons, Femi and Seun, are famous names not only in France but also in the entire Europe.
Macron said: “First, because I wanted to find a good occasion to come back there, I know the place and I have some memories. I have to confess that at a time that there will be no president around, I hope I will not spoil the party.
“First, I think that it is such an iconic place for a lot of African people and African culture. And I think very often, when you speak of the African culture in Europe, those who are successful in Europe and in France, which is different most of the times are not dramatically very famous in Nigeria or in Africa. And there is a bias because you know people are absolutely not the same.