Nigeria Donates 15 Vehicles, 100 Motorcycles To Benin For Presidential Polls
SAN FRANCISCO, February 28, (THEWILL) – The Federal Government of Nigeria has donated 15 Hilux operational vehicles and 100 motorcycles to the Independent National Electoral Commission of Benin Republic to enable it conduct credible presidential election.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Bulus Lolo, who presented the items in Cotonou, said that free, peaceful and credible election in Benin was of interest to Nigeria and encouraged the people and the electoral commission to conduct the elections in a peaceful, transparent and credible manner.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the presidential elections will be held in Benin on March 6, 2016 and 36 candidates have been cleared to contest the election.
“Nigeria and Benin are neighbours; what happens in Benin is of immediate impact and interest to Nigeria and what happens in Nigeria has impact and is of interest to Benin,” Lolo said.
“Besides, we are one and the same people separated by colonial rule and because of this separation with a borderline, we tend to think that we are different people. Therefore, our being here today to support the electoral process in Benin is a clear demonstration of our solidarity, brotherhood and friendship.
“You are witnesses to the landmark change that took place in Nigeria in 2015 following the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in a peaceful, transparent and legitimate election without rancour.
“That election in Nigeria was a landmark because for the first time, a ruling party that had been in office for 16 years was voted out of office. Through the free will of the Nigerian people, the election ushered in an opposition party for the first time in the history of Nigeria.
“Today, the support we are rendering to Benin is to enable the Commission Electorale Nationale Autonome (CENA) stand firm and ensure that the votes of the people count.”
Responding, the President of CENA, Tiando Emmanuel, commended Nigeria's support to Benin at all times, saying that the donation would assist the electoral body to enhance its performance.
“The quality of relationship between Nigeria is demonstrated by the frequent meetings that exist between the two countries” he said.
“During the last meeting with INEC, I told the INEC Chairman that Nigeria is the senior brother of Benin and the senior brother cannot abandon the junior brother.
“This gesture will allow CENA to reach the farthest parts of Benin during the election and will reinforce our democracy in Benin and democratic values in Africa.”
Story by David Oputah