Abidjan – President of Cote d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara, Wednesday, in Abidjan said President Good luck Jonathan’s victory at the polls would strengthen relationship between Nigeria and the country.
“President Ouattara and President Jonathan are best of friends before the elections and we are happy he won the elections,’’ says Ouattara’s spokesman, Patrick Achi .
INEC, on Monday formerly declared Jonathan the winner of the 2011 presidential elections.
Achi, who is also the Ivorian Minister of Economy and Infrastructure, speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in a telephone interview after the announcement of the results by INEC.
“We are happy that President Jonathan won the elections and we know that the president’s victory at the polls will strengthen the relationship between Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire.
“The two countries are the biggest economies in West Africa and we hope that the relationship between the two will improve the roles of ECOWAS and the AU in building the region and the continent,’’ Achi said.
Achi said the Ivorian president would still write to formally congratulate the Nigerian president on his victory at the polls on Saturday.
On the security situation in Cote d’Ivoire, Ouattara’s spokesman said Abidjan and some of the towns in the outskirt were still under security alert after the forceful ouster of former President Laurent Gbagbo.
“Generally, the security situation has improved, but Abidjan and some of the outskirt towns still have security issues.
“Now, shops are re-opening and we can see more taxis plying the streets. The situation is improving by the day,’’ Achi said.
According to him, President Ouattara had issued directives for the resumption of exportation of cocoa and the full operations at the ports that were closed for close to three months.
“President Ouattara has directed the West Africa central bank and commercial banks to start operations. We are hoping that by next week the banks will be open for operations,’’ he said.
Cote d’Ivoire is smarting from a postelectoral crisis that plunged the country into four months of civil strife, culminating in the death of more than 1, 500 people, mostly innocent citizens, and the forceful ouster of its former president.
The UN says more than a million Ivorians scampered to neighbouring countries like Liberia, Ghana and Guinea for refuge.