The President of Cote D’Ivoire, Mr Allassane Ouattara, has described Nigeria’s presidential election as a legacy that all the countries in the African continent should emulate.
Mr Ouattara made the remark after holding talks with the President of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, on Monday.
The Ivorian President, who was at the Presidential Villa at about midday, congratulated President Jonathan, the Nigerian people and the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.
He stressed that what happened in Nigeria was a lesson for all, apparently referring to the decision by President Jonathan to concede defeat even before the winner of the presidential election was declared.
Mr Ouattara further extolled the leadership qualities of the outgoing President, describing him as, first a West African before a Nigerian.
He talked about his experience in the presidential election that brought him to power and how the then President of Cote D’Ivoire Mr. Lauren Gbagbo, holed him into a hotel for four months after the election.
Mr Gbagbo had rejected the election results and refused to hand over to Mr Ouattara, a decision that led to a civil war that claimed the lives of over 3,000 people five years ago.
He said that avoiding violence and civil war during elections in Africa should be the utmost objectives of those who want to lead, emphasising that people are more important than power.
He also thanked President Jonathan for the leadership role he provided for the ECOWAS, his commitment to fighting the Boko Haram sect and his interventions in the return of peace in countries like Mali, Guinea Bissau and Togo
Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has extended a hand of fellowship to all the candidates from other political parties who contested with him, urging them to join him in moving the state to the next level.
He made the call after receiving his certificate of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the premiere hotel, Ibadan venue of the certificate presentation to all elected candidates.
Governor Ajimobi who dedicated his victory to the entire people of the state, explained that he saw several qualities that he did not have in other candidates who contested against him and called for their support in governance, reiterating that “there are no victors nor vanquished”.
The National Commissioner of INEC in charge of Oyo, Ogun and Ekiti States, Professor Lai Olurode, commended the general conduct of the elections in his key note address, but decried the poor voter education across the country which resulted in huge voided votes.
He, however, urged the newly elected persons to use the mandate given to them by the voters to improve their constituencies and develop the state.
The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria has met with the organised Private Sector in Lagos State, reeling out the ‘APC manifesto’, which he said was the product of a survey that took over 6 months to develop.
General Muhammadu Buhari told the gathering on Monday that if elected, he would maintain periodic and regular series of meetings with the stakeholders to enable the government get informed advice from them on what should or should not be done to advance business interests.
Highlighting the party’s economic plans, General Buhari said that the policies would be governed by the highest consideration of how they could create jobs.
“Equipping and resourcing our security personnel, for example, will not be limited to provision of arms alone, but uniforms, boots and accoutrements, are enormous opportunities for textile production, garment making and shoemaking.
“Power supply is the minimum that we can seriously commit to in order to quickly galvanise the economy back to productivity.
“We agree with the privatisation of the power utilities but we believe it must go further to transmission.
“After the signing and handing-over ceremonies of the power assets the real work of producing, transmitting and distributing power is really just beginning.
“The reason the success seems elusive is that apart from the signing ceremony and handing over of the power assets, the hard work to connect the various parts of the power chain, supply gas, install transformers, complete substations has not been done,” he said.
According to him, the power sector reform that his party would implement would provide direct employment, as it would require over 200,000 trained personnel to support the initiative to provide power and light up Nigeria.
“Apart from the inherent direct employment that this will give, the reduction in cost of production, the savings from self-generation by Nigerians, who currently spend a lot of their income on purchase of diesel and petrol to generate their own electricity, will reduce the burden on their disposable income.
“These savings to Nigerians from reliable electricity will help the average Nigerian spend their money on other basic necessities of life and reduce poverty,” General Buhari said.
The former Nigerian military Head of State said the party would also focus on an initiative to build a refinery in Lagos, stressing that a local refinery would create jobs locally at a Nigerian refinery instead of refineries abroad, promote local fuel supply and National security, reduce importation, with less demand for foreign exchange and strengthen of the Naira.
He said that the party would also look at other areas which include infrastructure investment in roads and highway construction from one end of Nigeria to the other.
General Buhari further invited the representatives of the group to sit with his economic team to look at the party’s proposals and develop workable policies and implementation options.
He reminded the gathering that the ‘APC Manifesto’ was a product of a survey that took the party over six months to develop.
“We spoke to over 20,000 Nigerians across the 36 states and the FCT.
“The questionnaires we issued to them and the interviews we conducted showed overwhelmingly that; Insecurity, Corruption and the Economy were the biggest worries among the electorate,” he said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has dismissed claims that the party’s members are leaving the party following contentious primaries in their states.
The National Secretary of the party, Professor Wale Oladipo, told reporters at the national headquarters of the party in Abuja on Monday that contrary to the claims, the party was actually gaining new members.
“Take it from Sokoto to Kano, from Rivers to Niger, we are gaining members. If you go to Oyo State, we know that in politics, if you win some, you lose some,” he said
He also explained that the party’s campaign plans for the presidential, legislative and state elections, insisting that the party was prepared for the elections.
“A National Campaign Council will sit and constitute committees for the presidential, Senatorial, House of Representatives and governorship campaigns. We have a system in place in PDP that will ensure that everyone gets equal chance,” Professor Oladipo said.
After the governorship primaries of the party in some states, some members of the party that the results did not favour have opposed the result, calling for new primary elections to be conducted.