By John Ikani
Having reviewed most of the major stories from the past week, both locally and on the foreign scene, here are top quotes that tend to paint a vivid picture of what pressures the world is facing and perhaps give us a hint of some things we must expect in the coming days.
1. “The focus today must be developing a knowledge-based economy. The knowledge-based economy referred to stands for human capital development. Education and knowledge can become productive assets to be sold for profit rather than natural resources.”
– Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo stressing that for Nigeria to leap economically, she must build a knowledge-based economy such that the human capital can be sold across the globe.
2. “Madagascar finds itself a victim of climate change. There are recurrent waves of drought in the south of the country. The water sources dry up and all the means of subsistence become almost impossible. My compatriots in the south are bearing the weight of climate change which they did not participate in creating.”
– President of Madagascar Andry Nirina Rajoelina calling for tougher, urgent and coordinated world response efforts to fight climate change.
3. “Addressing the psychosocial well-being and development of children and teachers in conflict situations is an important part of re-establishing education provision and enabling children to re-enter schools safely.”
– EU Head of Cooperation Cecile Tassin-Pelzer stressing the need for psychosocial support to help conflict-affected children in Nigeria’s northeast manage their emotions, solve problems, deal with crises, and maintain healthy relationships.
4. “I will not be associated with the United States’ inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the dangers posed by armed gangs in control of daily life.”
– U.S. special envoy to Haiti Daniel Foote announcing his resignation in protest of the United States “deeply flawed” policy of returning Haitian migrants to their home country despite the deteriorating political and humanitarian conditions there.
5. “Africa cannot outsource its health to the rest of the world. We’ve got to build Africa’s indigenous manufacturing capacity.…we need to secure ourselves.”
– President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina on the need for Africa to be independent on healthcare support.
6. “We raised huge expectations, we told people, ‘get rid of Jonathan, put Buhari there, he would fix corruption, he would fix insecurity, he would fix the economy’ but look at where we are now.”
– Nigeria’s Northern Elders Forum (NEF) lamenting that it regretted getting rid of the former President, Goodluck Jonathan, and voting for incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2015 elections.
7. “The new situation resulting from the end of Operation Barkhane puts Mali before a fait accompli – abandoning us, mid-flight to a certain extent – and it leads us to explore pathways and means to better ensure our security autonomously, or with other partners.”
– Prime minister of Mali Choguel Maiga confirming that the West African nation has entered a deal with Russian mercenaries as France scales down a 5,000-strong mission in Northern mali.
8. “The attempted coup is a manifestation of a national crisis, it indicates the need for a reform of our security agencies and military institutions.”
Sudanese Prime Minister Abdullah Hamdok on failed coup attempt involving military officials and civilians linked to the regime of autocrat Omar al-Bashir, ousted from power two years ago by a popular revolt.
9. “The position, as it stands, is that investigation has reached an advanced stage and the Government will make statement in that direction in due course. Time is not ripe for holistic disclosures so as not to pre-empt the investigation process. The prime object remains the attainment of peace and security of our dear nation.”
– Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami on why Nigerian Government can’t name or shame sponsors of terrorism.
10. “The United States is ready to work with any nation that steps up and pursues peaceful resolution to shared challenges, even if we have intense disagreements in other areas — because we’ll all suffer the consequences of our failure if we do not come together to address the urgent threats like COVID-19 and climate change or enduring threats like nuclear proliferation.”
– An excerpt from the speech delivered by Joe Biden at the United Nations General Assembly.