Nigeria assure diplomats of security ahead of polls

19:48, November 11, 2010      

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Nigeria is trying to allay the fears of diplomats in the country over the 2011 general elections as well as the general security situation in the country.

Speaking at an interactive diplomatic missions briefing in Abuja on Thursday, Minister of Foreign Affairs Odein Ajumogobia, said after the 2011 elections, Nigeria would come out a stronger nation.

Ajumogobia said the Federal Government was aware of the doubts being expressed over the country's ability to deliver credible elections.

"No nation has been able to build an enduring democracy overnight. Democracy, as we know, is always work in progress," he said.

"President Goodluck Jonathan has openly welcomed the challenge to ensure that the 2011 elections are better than every other election we had in the past," he added.

Ajumogobia said the president had also pledged to ensure that an objective independent assessment of the process would conclude that the results had substantially been determined by the will of the people.

The minister maintained that the current administration had long recognized that an unwavering commitment to democracy, good governance, rule of law and respect for human rights were the most effective means to secure the future of the country.

"We opted to embrace democracy because we believe that our evolving democracy can help us to build a fair, just and inclusive nation," the minister said.

Ajumogobia also spoke on the Oct. 1 bomb blast,noting that terrorism is a global phenomenon that must be tackled universally.

He said the Federal Government was committed to addressing the security challenges by strengthening the capacity and deployment of security personnel and improving on intelligence sharing with agencies of other countries. "The recent interception of an illegal arms shipment at one of our sea ports illustrates the high level of vigilance and response capability of our security agencies," he added.

Ajumogobia said the Federal Government while focusing on security in the Niger Delta, was also dealing with the sporadic outbreak of violence and criminal impunity in other parts of the country.

He added that the government was also committed to dealing with the root of the problems which bordered on poverty and perceptions of neglect.

"The government is resolutely committed to addressing the root cause of the socio-economic challenges that have occasionally boiled over into social conflagrations," the minister said.

Source: Xinhua


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