Africa, according to Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila, is far from realizing its full potential.
Gbajabiamila addressed the COSAP (Conference of Speakers and Heads of African Parliaments) in Abuja on Monday.
He said military juntas have overthrown elected administrations in Sudan, Mali, Guinea, and Chad, putting the continent’s democracy in peril.
“We live in a time fraught with potential and danger, and every governing decision we make and every action we take has the potential to substantially remake our world for good or ill,” he said.
“This is, in effect, one of those defining historical moments. And when, as is inevitable, history delivers its judgment, we will either be remembered for doing the hard and necessary things that make for progress and prosperity or be reviled for squandering the opportunity of a generation.
“I believe that all of us are here because we recognise the historical significance of this moment and have determined to be on the right side of history’s judgment.
“Africa has come of age. Yet there is no gainsaying that we are far from achieving the highest potential that we are able. Across the continent, democracy is under threat and in retreat. From Sudan to Mali, Guinea and Chad, elected governments have been usurped by military juntas, overturning years of progress and the hopes of millions.
“Even in the places where elected governments are still in charge, public faith in the governing institutions is at an all-time low. When citizens lose confidence that a democratic government can meet their expectations, democracy loses credibility and support and begins a death spiral. This is the reality in too many places across our continent.”