- Category: April 2011 Polls
- Published on Friday, 15 April 2011 07:22
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 1779
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged Nigerians to turn out en masse during Saturday's presidential election to vote for their preferred candidates.
He spoke while receiving in audience former Ghanaian President and leader of the African Union (AU) Election Observation Mission to the Nigerian Presidential Elections, John Kufuor, at the State House on Thursday.
"I thank Nigerians for the large turnout during the National Assembly elections held last Saturday and urge them all to turn out en masse during the presidential elections next Saturday, and the subsequent elections, to vote for candidates of their choice," Mr Jonathan said.
While restating his commitment to free and fair elections, Mr Jonathan reassured Mr Kufuor and the international community that the federal government will not interfere with INEC or the electoral process. He also said Nigeria has a duty to conduct free and fair elections, in order to live up to the leadership responsibility it has on the continent, and to be able to admonish others who may not feel obliged to do the same.
"Government will support the electoral body and security agencies to deliver credible, free and fair elections," he said. Mr Kufuor said the 40-man AU Election Observation Mission in Nigeria for the presidential election has been deployed to four political zones, and will depart next week after discharging their duty.
Meeting other missions
Mr Jonathan also received the leaders of two other election observation missions: former prime minister of Slovenia, Alojz Peterle, leading the 140-man European Union (EU) Election Observation Mission; and Amos Sawyer, former President of Liberia, at the helm of the 300-man ECOWAS Election Observer Mission.
He assured both delegations of both his and the federal government's commitment to free and fair elections, expressing confidence in the capacity of INEC and the security agencies to check desperate politicians who may want to derail the process.
On his part, Mr Sawyer said his team were impressed by the measures in place to strengthen the electoral process in Nigeria, especially the "new vitality and heightened integrity" of the electoral body.
"ECOWAS is looking forward to credible and successful elections in Nigeria as a yardstick for other countries in the sub-region," he said. (234next.com)