Abuja – Cote d’Ivoire President-elect, Allasane Qattara, on Friday visited President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
After a closed-door meeting with the President, Qattara told reporters that he was in Abuja to report to Jonathan, the outcome of the meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council held in Addis Ababa.
The AU Peace and Security meeting which was chaired by Nigeria had re-affirmed that Qattara was the legal President of Cote d’Ivoire and called on Laurent Gbagbo to step down.
Qattara also said he came to thank Jonathan and Nigeria at large for the support he had enjoyed since the crisis in his country.
He said: “ I come to report to his Excellency the President about the meeting in Addis Ababa. The meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council.
“ We had a very good meeting on Cote d’Ivoire; and the AU, after all the evaluations, confirmed that I am the elected President of Cote d’Ivoire.
“So I came to see my brother, President Jonathan to thank him for his support and I think that the relations between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire will be strengthened with my mandate because Nigeria is a special place and I told His Excellency that Nigeria is my country also,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, Nigeria Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Salamatu Suleiman, who led Qattara and his entourage to the villa, said the decision by AU was a vindication for Nigeria and ECOWAS.
She said: “That meeting was very successful and had good outcome. It was extremely successful as they affirmed the position earlier taken by our President as the Chairman of ECOWAS that Allasane Qattara is the winner of the Cote d’Ivoire election.
“At the AU level now, they have endorsed that position after the high level panel that was earlier instituted had gone round and confirmed that there is absolutely no doubt that Qattara is the winner of the election in Cote d’Ivoire.
“Measures are being put in place to ensure he takes over his position as President.”
Suleiman also allayed the fear that Qattara might not be allowed by Gbagbo to return to Cote d’Ivoire because of the no-fly zone order he issued against UN planes.
“We don’t have any fear about that, there are enough facilities put in place to ensure his return to Cote d’Ivoire,” she said. (NAN)