President Goodluck Jonathan has said that his administration is committed to enforcing the rule of law, to guarantee the safety of lives and property, according to a press dispatch from the presidency.
Mr. Jonathan reportedly made the pledge at State House today before a delegation of the European Union and the European External Action Service.
President Jonathan appealed to the EU to support countries in West and Central Africa to mop up the small arms and weapons that have fallen into the hands of non-state actors such as Boko Haram in the aftermath of the Libyan conflict, adding that Nigeria would appreciate the assistance of the EU in this regard.
“We cannot celebrate criminals or turn them into heroes,” he said of his government.
Commenting on the recent national mass rallies, President Jonathan told his visitors there is no justification for his government to pay for elite consumption through subsidies on petrol.
“There is no justification for Government to subsidize elite consumption. Diesel, which fuels mass transit vehicles has been deregulated, so we will use the savings made from removing the subsidy on petrol to provide for the needs of the poor in our society”, he stated.
President Jonathan also told the EU delegation that the conduct of elections in Nigeria was getting progressively better, and assured them that efforts were being made to ensure that only voters determine the winners of the 2015 national elections.
“We promise that the 2015 elections will even be better than the 2011 elections”, he said, without indicating whether he will implement the Justice Uwais report on electoral reform.
Earlier, Mr. Villy Sov, Foreign Minister of Denmark and leader of the delegation had commended President Jonathan for his efforts to entrench democracy in Nigeria, describing the 2011 elections as “one of the best in Nigeria’s history”.
He said the recent strikes in Nigeria further confirm the commitment to the growth of democracy, adding that the President took “very brave” decisions prior to the strikes.
The Danish Foreign Minister suggested that the Boko Haram problem be tackled through rule of law and open society groups, pointing out that both Nigeria and Europe were facing the challenges of terrorism and climate change.