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Yar’Adua: Nullification of Election Good for Democracy

Posted by From Paul Ohia, Charles Ajunwa in Lagos and Damilola Oyedele in Abuja with agency report on 2008/07/19 | Views: 2374 |

Yar’Adua: Nullification of Election Good for Democracy

President Umaru Yar'Adua yesterday expressed support for court rulings that overturned the election of some state governors, despite the fact that the governors were elected on the platform of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party.

President Umaru Yar'Adua yesterday expressed support for court rulings that overturned the election of some state governors, despite the fact that the governors were elected on the platform of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party.
He said this at a parley with a think-tank at Chatham House in London and a breakfast meeting with Nigerians on the second day of his visit to the United Kingdom.
At Chatam House, Yar'Adua, whose own election as president last year was roundly criticised by local and international election monitors, told an invited audience in London that democracy still needed to be consolidated in the country.
Asked about the court rulings against governors from his party, Yar'Adua said: "This is a good development for the nation...
"It is part of our development that has never happened before and it is enriching our democratic process," Yar'Adua told the audience.
"The fact that this is affecting, so far, my party just reflects the fact that my party won 28 out of 36 state governorships," he added
He also said that Nigeria currently has nearly 184 trillion cubit feet of gas reserve, adding that the country was more of a gas nation than an oil nation. He consequently called on investors to partner with his government in producing gas for export and domestic consumption.
Also yesterday, a statement by the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown assured that his country will ensure that oil production brings prosperity, including improved livelihood to the people of Niger Delta.
In a statement made available to THISDAY by the British High Commission in Abuja, Brown also offered to provide accounting systems and security to help reduce the 1.5 million barrels a day which Nigeria loses.
Brown who commended President Yar'Adua's commitment to upholding the rule of law also pledged that the UK would continue to work closely with the Nigerian authorities to bring to justice those guilty of money laundering from Nigeria.
The statement also read that "The Prime Minister also welcomed Nigeria's strong commitment to seeing free and fair elections in Zimbabwe, and the leadership it has shown in the African.”
Union and other international bodies. He also welcomed the Nigerian Government's continued commitment to economic reform and President Yar'Adua's support for the MDGs."
Also in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by Mrs Boade Akinola, Press Secretary to Minister of Foreign Affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, Yar'Adua said: ``There are great opportunities to be exploited in the sector with the determination of government to also stop importation of petrol'' .
Yar'Adua expressed the belief that what was good for business would be good for the country and said that concerted efforts were being made to attract foreign investment.
He listed such efforts to include multi-sectoral reforms in the banking, governance, procurement and public finance.
The president further added that legislation had been put in place
to ensure the provision of an enabling environment for business to thrive.
He also identified other economic sector that needed ``massive'
investment to include power, education, steel and oil.
On the power sector, the President said government had put in place
legislation and regulations to ensure that independent power producers stayed in business.
`Currently, the government is working on creating appropriate tariffs to guarantee returns on investment,'' he said.
On illegal bunkering, the President said his government was working on developing a tracking system to arrest the culprits.
He added that efforts were underway for consultations with members of the international community to declare bunkering an international crime whereby both the receiving refinery and the seller would be sanctioned.
As part of infrastructural development, the president said
plans were underway for a long term concessioning agreement with some companies for the rehabilitation of some roads.
He listed the roads to include the Lagos-Ibadan, Benin-Shagamu and
Kano-Kaduna. Yar'Adua said that his administration was committed to the fight against corruption through the enthronement of the rule of law and strengthening of anti-corruption agencies like EFCC, ICPC and the Code of Conduct Bureau.

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