Germany Gives Nigeria Ultimatum OverBoko Haram

Germany has pleaded with the Nigerian
government to intensify its efforts in putting
an end to Boko Haram insurgency.
The call was made on Monday in Abuja, by
Dr Frank Seinmeier, German Minister of
Foreign Affairs when he and French Minister
of Foreign Affairs Mr Laurent Fabius led a
European Union (EU) delegation to the
Chairman of the Independent National
Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru
Jega’s office.
Seinmeier pleaded with the Federal
Government to end Boko Haram insurgency
before the 2015 elections, The Nation
reports.
“You know that the elections you are
preparing for are taking place under difficult
conditions, fighting two enemies at a time.
First of all, it was even last week we were
commenting on your effort and success
fighting Ebola. The second enemy we were
talking about this morning during breakfast
meeting with different religious organisations
is against the Boko Haram and its terrorist
groups.Therefore, we know that the fight
against Boko Haram is not yet enough
successful as over 200 girls are still
kidnapped and not yet released,” he said.
Speaking also, Fabius called on INEC to
defend Nigeria’s and Africa’s image by
conducting credible elections in 2015,
explaining that the visit to the commission is
because of INEC’s responsibility to conduct
credible elections by 2015.
“We congratulate your institution for the way
you handled general elections in 2011 and
more recently the current elections. Now that
new elections are coming next year, the
challenge is tremendous. You have great
responsibility towards Nigeria. The image of
Nigeria is at stake and the image of Africa as
well. We have no doubt that this election will
be free, fair and transparent. European Union
(EU) will contribute to it, financially and will
also dispatch EU observation mission,”
Fabius said.
The French minister of foreign affairs further
hinted that the delegation was interested in
finding out INEC’s preparation to face the
security challenges because of the current
insurgency in the northern part of Nigeria.
He said they were in Nigeria to let INEC
know that they have great confidence in
what the commission is doing and what is
yet to do.
Fabius, who wished INEC success in
conducting the 2015 general elections
despite the country’s continued fight against
insurgency and dwindling security situation.
He also revealed that the visit was to
underline the importance of Nigeria to EU,
stating that Nigeria mattered not only
beyond trans-borders, Africa but also in
Europe.
Responding to the envoys comments, Prof.
Jega reiterated the commission’s
commitment in conducting credible polls in
2015. He revealed that the commission was
working closely with all key stakeholders in
order to curb any challenges that need to be
ended before the elections.
“One of the challenges is security and how it
could affect the conduct of the elections.
From our interaction, we are working with
security agencies.We know that these
challenges are there; our hope and prayer is
that before the 2015 general elections,
tremendous success would have been
attained to ensure that election are peaceful
and credible throughout Nigeria. We, as
electoral body, are adequately prepared to
deploy but we need to work closely with
security agencies,” Jega said.
The INEC chairman stated that the
commission was taking its responsibilities to
contribute towards deepening the democracy
of Nigeria with all seriousness that it
deserved and promised to deliver credible
elections in 2015.
“Obviously that does not underestimate the
challenges. There are enormous challenges;
it is going to be difficult but we believe it will
not be impossible. The kind of support,
encouragement and assistance that we have
received from all stakeholders domestic and
international partners have not only inspired
us but reinforced our commitment to ensure
that we deliver free fair credible elections,”
he said.
Jega, however, commended the EU for their
support to the commission, pointing out that
the visit underscored the kind of importance
EU attached to the democracy of Nigeria.
“The support has enabled us to conduct free,
fair and credible election in 2011 and since
then, we have been receiving timely and
important support as we prepare for 2015
general elections,” he said.
It would be recalled that on October 10,
2014, the European Union, EU, has
condemned the death sentence handed to 12
Nigerian soldiers by the General Court
Martial in Nigeria for alleged mutiny.

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