President Goodluck Jonathan has called for sustained efforts in 2014 through dialogue and other means to check the rising spate of terrorism around the world, stressing that peace was requisite for development.
Jonathan made the call at an annual cocktail organised for members of the diplomatic corps at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
“Until terrorism is wiped out, no world leader should sleep. In Nigeria, terrorism is a menace that must be defeated. The scourge has become many faceted,” he said.
The President noted that as preparations for the 2015 elections hit top gear, there is bound to be apprehensions and tension, referring to the recent disturbance of peace in Borno State, but added that these will all fizzle out as the year unfolds.
“As we progress into the year, some of these tensions will calm down. At the beginning of the electoral processes in most countries, especially developing nations, tensions use to be quite high even in developed countries. That is what we are witnessing now, but all these will calm down. We will make sure that we maintain peace and security and that elections are conducted in the manner that will be seen as free and fair by everybody,” Jonathan said.
“The general elections will take place early next year but the processes that will lead to the elections will commence this year. Parties will select their candidate through primaries this year, campaigns will commence this year, so this year will be full of activities,” he added.
He also called on the international community to support Nigeria in achieving a freer and fairer election next year and thanked the acting Dean of the Diplomatic Corps and Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Olumba Kumba, who promised that some of the organisations and countries that assisted the country during the 2011 elections will render the same assistance again.