By Daniel Idonor
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday affirmed his administration’s continuous support to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in its bid to conduct elections that meet global standards of acceptability next year.
He spoke at an audience with the new European Union, EU, Ambassador and head of delegation to Nigeria, Mr. David Macrae.
President Jonathan said the Federal Government was very aware of the great importance of the elections to the future stability of Nigeria and would welcome assistance from the EU and Nigeria’s other development partners to assure its success.
He told his guest who was at the Presidential Villa to present his letters of credence that the Federal Government also recognised that because of Nigeria’s strategic importance in Africa, the international community had a keen interest in the general elections scheduled for early next year.
“The elections are very important and your concerns are genuine. Nigeria is very important globally because of its huge population, amongst other factors.
“A stable Nigeria will foster stability in West Africa and the rest of Africa. Successful elections next year will help us achieve greater political stability and we will appreciate further assistance from the EU for the elections,” he told Mr. Macrae.
Also yesterday at the Presidential Villa, President Jonathan received the letters of credence of the new Ambassador of Ireland to Nigeria, Mr. Kyle O’Sullivan, and the new Australian High Commissioner, Mr. Ian McConille.
At separate audiences with the new envoys, he called for improved economic cooperation between Nigeria and their countries, saying Nigeria particularly wished to learn from Australia’s expertise in the commercial exploitation of solid minerals.
Mr. McConille assured President Jonathan that Australia would fully support the development of Nigeria’s enormous potentials in the solid minerals sector.
He noted that the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Musa Mohammed Sada, was currently participating in a mining conference in Australia