Nigeria will be pushing to get the Africa Union’s endorsement for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council, during the 21st ordinary session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government and the AU holding in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru, disclosed this to journalists on Thursday at the sideline of the ongoing summit.
Ashiru expressed the conviction that having earlier secured the backing of the Economic Community of West African States, it will also receive the AU’s support.
He said the nation had covered a lot of ground in its campaign for the position having made an inroad into many African countries.
He said, “We are making good progress. You know that we have been endorsed by ECOWAS heads of states and government as the sole candidate for the sub region. We have also been endorsed by the AU at the level of the representation at the United Nations.
“So, we expect that by God’s grace, the African Union will come out to endorse our candidature for the non-permanent seat of the UN Security Council.”
Ashiru added that once Nigeria succeeds in getting AU’s backing, it would go ahead to other non-African countries.
Two- third of member nations is needed to be elected into the council.
“We still have a lot of work to do because you know that elections into that council is by two thirds majority.
“It means that we also have to take our campaigns to other countries outside Africa so that we can get the required two thirds majority in the election that will take place in October in New York,” the minister added.
Ashiru also said Nigeria was forcing the issue of Saharawi Arab Republic on the agenda of of the ongoing AU meeting against the resistance of some countries which he said did not want independence for the North African territory to be discussed.
He revealed that Nigeria maintained that as a country which had always been at the vanguard of the fight for independence of colonised countries in Africa, it was the desire of the Federal Government to ensure that no country remained colonised on the continent.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan is expected to arrive Addis Ababa on Friday (today) to join his counterparts across Africa for the summit.
The summit coincides with the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Organisation of African Union which later transformed into AU.
Arrangements have been concluded by the Nigerian Embassy in Ethiopia to receive the President.
Our correspondent learnt that former President Olusegun Obasanjo is also one of African former leaders expected to grace the ceremony.