Jonathan told French Foreign Minister, Mr. Alain Juppe, who visited him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that he had no intention of staying longer than his constitutionally allowed term.
Jonathan said his intention was to ensure that programmes were consistently executed instead of each regime restarting programmes and not concluding such programmes or politicising them.
“My proposal for a single seven-year tenure is anchored on the need for an incumbent president to focus maximum attention on the execution of his development programmes, instead of expending vital energy on re-election issues, though this has been misunderstood to mean I want additional seven years,” he said.
He assured that the major challenge of African countries, which is to stabilise democratic rule, had largely been overcome though the issue of perpetuation in power by incumbents was still an issue.
The other problem, Jonathan continued, was the insistence of most incumbents on anointing the successors but he pointed out that there was need to credit the strides being made rather than focus on total condemnation. He thanked French President Nicolas Sarkozy for his unwavering support of Africa and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) especially in the restoration of peace in Cote d’Ivoire.
Jonathan told Juppe, “We could not have succeeded in restoring peace in Cote d’Ivoire without President Sarkozy’s support”, adding that stability in troubled ECOWAS states would have been impossible without France’s support.
On the threats to security in Nigeria, he assured that his administration was doing all within its powers to check terrorism and called for investment and support to assist the country to combat the menace.
Speaking earlier, Juppe said he was interested in holding constructive dialogue in the areas of agriculture, energy, aviation and mining and to generally ensure economic stability in the country.
Juppe pledged to assist the region in combating terrorism while it will collaborate with the country in addressing areas of concern.