Former British Prime Minister, Mr. Boris Johnson, has said Nigeria can be a renewable superpower,
The former Prime Minister, who spoke at the 16th Osigwe Anyiam-Osigwe lecture series in Lagos, on Monday, called for a stronger “mutually-benefitting relationship” between Nigeria and the United Kingdom in order to unleash the potentials of both countries.
He spoke just as the former Secretary General of Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, who was chairman of the occasion called on politicians to see the welfare of the people as the bedrock of their policies and actions in government.
Johnson, a member of the British Parliament, who delivered the keynote address, said it is high time Nigeria and the UK which he described as two great democracies took the forefront of leading the world.
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He said, “Now is the time. When the world is so uncertain, when some nations are disentangling, now is the time for the UK and Nigeria, two great democracies to work together.
“Nigeria can be a renewable superpower and still be a producer of oil and gas. We could be much more together.”
Johnson insisted that democracy still remains the best option for the people, adding that it was the fear that the Russian people may go the democratic way that forced Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine.
He however expressed hope that Ukraine would win the current war with Russia.
He listed areas for continued collaborations with Nigeria to include free trade, free speech, free elections.
“You need a society that is opened and that is tolerant to develop human potentials,” he said, adding that urban successes are built on freedom under the law”.
Chief Anyaoku hailed the legacies of the former PM and how he’s made the welfare of the people a priority, saying, “He’s a remarkable British politician and leader. He has so far left legacies in modern British politics. He was the Prime Minister who followed the decision of the majority of the British people…it was he therefore (in popular parlance) who got Brexit done,” Chief Anyaoku said.
“I believe if we were to effectively pursue the theme of this 16th lecture series of the Osigwe anyiam-Osigwe, namely: ‘Rehumanising Human Experience,’ consideration of the comprehensive welfare of the people should be the bedrock of policies and actions of politicians and actions across the world.”
Lagos Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, said “We should not as a people undermine our society by always looking at our negatives, rebroadcasting our negatives, and pushing down our positives. It is for us to understand that as a Nation we make mistakes but we must look at the good side and continue to build our Nation”.