Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru
Jonathan arrives Addis Ababa for summit
By Muhammad Bello
Nigeria yesterday got the go-ahead from the African Union to seek a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. The good news came few hours before President Goodluck Jonathan arrived Ethiopia for the 21st ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, who confirmed the AU nod told journalists that the decision was taken at a meeting of ministers of the union's 50-member states on Thursday evening.
According to Ashiru, the coast became clear for Nigeria to contest for the UN seat after the successful mobilization of the Economic Community of West African States, stressing that the task ahead now is to reach out to other regional groups.
The minister said the decision to endorse Nigeria was taken unanimously by those who attended the meeting: "The endorsement was based on our nation's track record and achievements. It was done unanimously. The next step is for us to reach out to other regional groups like the Asia, Europe and America. But one thing is sure.
This regional endorsement that we have secured is like obtaining B+ already.
Other regional groups will only shore up the score."
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martins Uhonmoibhi, said:
"Nigeria is demanding that because it has done peace keeping role since 1960, it has a right to determine how the world is governed," he said.
The African leaders are also in Addis Ababa to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organisation of African Union, which later transformed into AU.
While in Ethiopia, President Jonathan is expected to hold bilateral talks with some African leaders including those of Egypt, Benin Republic and Serbia.
The president is also expected to confer with the UN Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-Moon; and United States Secretary of State, Mr. John Kerry among others.