Port Harcourt – Nigeria’s new leader on Saturday pledged to involve young people in his bid to end the country’s reputation of flawed and violent elections.
President Goodluck Jonathan made the pledge as he spoke to students at a university in the oil hub of Port Harcourt in the volatile Niger Delta.
“I commit myself to working with all Nigerians, especially the youths, to bring the sad days of electoral malfeasance to an end,” said Jonathan.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, goes to the polls to elect a new president early next year.
“The urgent task now is to strengthen and consolidate our young democracy,” he said on his maiden trip to his native region of the Niger Delta since becoming president.
He has already sacked the nation’s electoral agency boss, Maurice Iwu, blamed for the flawed elections of 2007.
Recommendations to overhaul the country’s electoral laws are currently before the country’s parliament.
Jonathan came into office in the wake of the debilitating illness of his predecessor Umaru Yar’Adua, who died on May 5. – Sapa