President Goodluck Jonathan Monday met with his United States counterpart, Barack Obama, for bilateral talks and assured him that his administration would ensure the conduct of credible elections in 2015. Jonathan while responding to his host’s remarks that Nigeria is a major stakeholder in Africa and needed to be encouraged to hold free and fair elections in 2015, told Obama that his administration would improve on its efforts in the 2011 general election by ensuring that the forthcoming ones are better organised. He also applauded US for creating a paradigm shift away from crises ridden elections right from its independence
According to Jonathan, the relationship between the two countries has grown in various sectors of the economy, making Nigeria US’ biggest trading partner in Africa. The Nigerian president explained that after the criticisms that trailed the 2007 presidential election that brought him and his principal then, the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to power, he had resolved to deliver a democratically elected government even if he was not favoured at the polls.
“We have had controversial elections between 1960 and 2011, including the one that ushered me in as vice-president. My administration promised to improve the democratic process and minimise corruption, nepotism. We delivered what has so far been adjudged as the most credible elections in Nigeria since our democratic experiment. We will continue to build strong institutions that will help consolidate the gains we have made,” Jonathan added.
He said he looked forward to Obama’s initiative of powering Africa, adding that already some American stakeholders in the power sector were involved in the privatisation of the sector in Nigeria. On terrorism, Jonathan said it has become a global issue and Nigeria was grappling with its own share of it, promising to cooperate with the US in the fight against global terror.