• Defends Government’s Action

• Explains Jonathan’s Visit To South Africa

THE Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru has assured Nigerians that the Federal Government would suspend the state of emergency on the three affected states only if normalcy returns to the states.

Ashiru who spoke to journalists in Abuja Friday during a press briefing said that the Federal Government is committed to the safety and protection of lives and property of all Nigerians including diplomats.

Defending the actions of government, he said, “No responsible government would watch wanton destruction of lives and properties in a manner that appears intended to render parts of the country ungovernable.”

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He noted that the security challenges in the country has imposed on government the responsibility to respond in a robust manner anchored on a multi-track strategy of negotiation, empowerment, engagement, re-orientation and military containment.

In maintaining peace and order, the minister said that, “President Goodluck Jonathan has enjoined the security forces to continue to uphold the sanctity of life by respecting the fundamental human rights of the affected populace, consistent with their rules of engagement and international best practices in counter-insurgency.”

Appealing to the diplomatic corps, he enjoined them to “demonstrate a greater understanding of the complexity of the challenge that the country is facing and the imperative need for government to live up to its responsibility under the Nigeria constitution.”

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The minister also explained the recent visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to South Africa, saying “ South Africa and Nigeria have a joint responsibility to provide strategic leadership to the Africa continent, adding that this has necessitated a constructive partnership and collaboration with South Africa in a manner that enhances the prosperity, peace, security, stability and development of the continent and its people.”


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