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Nigeria has not shifted ground on choice of AU’s chairperson, says minister
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By Victor Iluyemi
July 10, 2012 22:45:36pm GMT      |      Views: 612

Abuja (WorldStage Newsonline)-- Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Amb. Olugbenga Ashiru on Tuesday said that the country's stand on the choice of African Union Commission's chairperson has not changed, barely few days to the commencement of the AU summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The position is been contested by the current chairperson, Dr. Jean Ping of Gabon and Nkosazana Dlamini- Zuma of South Africa, while Jean Ping is Economic Community of West Africa’s (ECOWAS) candidate for the position.

The last election ended in a stalemate as Ping was unable to garner the 31 votes needed to clinch the position. The sub-region barring any last minute change of heart will still put him forward Ping for the coveted position.

Nigeria been the natural leader of ECOWAS has been championing the return of Dr. Ping.

"We have not shifted ground, we are working in concert with the ECOWAS group and we will remain with EVCOWAS group, any decision taken by ECOWAS, Nigeria will be there and you know Nigeria is the natural leader of that sub-region so we prefer to have one united position and we stand by that position which Nigeria will take. It is when we get there to Addis that we will see the ground and will stay where our members would stay," he said.

Also, the minister said that the country had continued to canvass for support to clinch one of the AU commissioner’s slot, though the position is based on election.

According to him, “we are doing our campaign round the member states and we hope that when we get there Nigeria will muster enough votes to be able to fill that position of commissionership."

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