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M.K. Aondoakaa: The Rule of Law

Excerpts at address to UPF Assembly, September 2007, New York City
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In recent years, democracy has begun to spread in Africa. Nigeria has enjoyed over eight years of uninterrupted civilian, democratic rule. Yet, religious and ethnic tensions continue throughout the continent, and growing disparity in economic structures between the haves and have-nots has heightened tensions between economic classes in Africa.

In Nigeria, for example, there has been strong agitation in the oil-rich south by the people seeking improved conditions from the multinationals and companies whose operations have completely destroyed the area, resulting in environmental degradation. President Umaru Musa Yar’Adu has taken generous steps and launched the Niger Delta Development and developed a master plan. He has engaged in direct dialogues with the various communities in the Niger area with a view to restoring peace. These efforts of the president have already started yielding result, and peace is steadily and gradually returning to the area.

Our government is particularly impressed with the emphasis on the family as the textbook of peace. The practice and principles of love and peace are learned from the beginning at the mother’s breast. Peace education is found with family values where siblings learn to care and live in harmony with each other. As molded by their parents, they come to master a life of service, devotion to God or Allah, tolerate the opinion of others, and cultivate proactive compassion for the needy. Such children grow into natural Ambassadors for Peace.

We invite you to incorporate the concept of the rule of law as part of the values which will advance peace in Africa and the whole world. An era of sustained peace will be launched in Africa and the whole world if we commit ourselves to strict adherence to the rule of law. The rule of law guarantees peace and order, safety and security. The rule of law guarantees a process and a procedure which completely eliminates tension. The rule of law guarantees due process and assures every other system in every continent, particularly Africa, that remedies will be found. In a world governed by the rule of law, there will be order because aggrieved parties will not resort to solving problems by carrying arms since they will be sure of obtaining remedy from the courts. Governments throughout the world, particularly African governments, have a duty to obey court orders as a means of restoring confidence in the judiciary. The institution of the judiciary will certainly take away tension. People will no longer go to the streets to get remedies but go to the courts of law.

Strict adherence to the rule of law by governments and citizens is a fundamental solution on the road toward peace. Let us raise up the rule of law and launch our world into a sustainable order of peace. If we desire peace, as we do, we must certainly embrace the rule of law to guarantee world peace.

Peace is founded on the rule of law. The two pillars must work together. If they don’t work together, there will be no peace. Peace cannot operate in a vacuum. It must rest on the pillar of the rule of law.

We salute Rev. Moon as a historic peacemaker, founder of institutions of peace, and a major builder of a global community of peace that we all yearn for. We are delighted that our nation, the most populous of Africa, is represented in this forum exploring options for world peace.

President Yar’Adu appreciates the service of UPF members in Nigeria and looks forward to the expansion and development of the organization to every local authority in our country. The presence here of Chief Ernest Shonekan [who was president of Nigeria in 1993] demonstrates the fact that we are ready to partner with this initiative. We believe UPF will help Nigeria grow peacefully. You can, therefore, count on our support.