Jonathan Restates Commitment To Credible Polls

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ABUJA, July 27, (THEWILL) - President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Monday restated his commitment to ensure that future elections in Nigeria are credible, free and fair thus making post-election litigations unnecessary.

Responding to an address by the Nigerian Community in Uganda during a reception/dinner in his honour at the residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to Uganda in Kampala, President Jonathan said that it was painful and embarrassing to have credibility questions raised at every given opportunity at home and abroad over election results, not to mention endless post-election court cases.

"I want a situation where at the end of elections, nobody will go to court because there will be no need to do so when the process is credible," he said.

President Jonathan who described post-election litigation as an "unnecessary distraction" especially in Nigeria where "it is odd if you don’t go to court," said that the need to ensure that "anybody who wins an election has won," informed his administration’s electoral reforms beginning with the setting up of the Justice Uwais Election Reform Committee by his late predecessor, and the recent appointment of INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, who the President said, was highly recommended by several groups even though he had never personally met him.

"Anybody can be given appointment based on recommendations by credible individuals and groups and purely on merit, and I don’t think I need to know all Nigerians to give them jobs," he explained in reference to the appointments of not only the INEC Chairman but also Dr. Olusegun Aganga and Mohammed Adoke (SAN) as Ministers of Finance and Justice respectively.

President Jonathan also reiterated his administration’s commitment to create the enabling environment in order to grow the economy and provide jobs by fixing the challenge of infrastructural deficits, especially electricity.

The President who attended the reception as part of his programmes during his participation at the 15th African Union Summit in Kampala, Uganda, commended Nigerians living in Uganda for "flying the Nigerian flag very high in Uganda without blemish," upon learning that no Nigerian was in any detention or prison in that country, just like in Canada.

The Nigerian High Commissioner to Uganda, Fidel Ayogu, who commended President Jonathan’s all-inclusive government, also praised the exemplary conduct of Nigerians resident in Uganda, noting that the relations between Nigeria and Uganda are "cordial, fruitful and reciprocal," with Nigerian volunteers in the Technical Aid Corps (TAC) serving in the East African country since 1988.

Before the dinner attended by the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, former Nigerian Head of State and ECOWAS Special Envoy, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar (Red), Ministers and top government officials of Nigeria and other countries, President Jonathan had had talks with President Iris Derby of Chad, on the urgent need to preserve the fast receding Lake Chad.