Niger president talks to Al Jazeera on Boko Haram, Democracy

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President Mahamadou Issoufou and Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall
Yesterday, polls closed in Niger, where, in the second election after the 2010 military coup, sitting president, Mahamadou Issoufou is intent on winning a second term.
Speaking to Al Jazeera’s Mohamed Vall, Issoufou outlined how he saw his legacy. “People often say that our countries don’t need powerful men but powerful institutions, so I would like history to remember that I put in place an irreversible democratic system, irreversible! I also want history to remember that at a time when a majority of the Sahel countries are confronted with terrorism threats and have lost their security, we, in this ocean of threats, knew how to maintain peace and security. I would like history to remember there was no famine under my presidency and finally I want history to remember I took care of the problems of the poorest: health, water access, unemployment, and housing. This is what I want history to remember of my time as the leader of Niger.”
Calling Niger “one of the most democratic nations of Africa,” he said, “The establishment of stable democratic institutions was a top priority of the ‘Renaissance’ programme I implemented over the past five years. There are two indicators that prove Niger is truly democratic: The first one is the freedom of the press. Reporters Without Borders ranks countries every year depending on press freedoms.
“In 2010 we were ranked 139th; today we are ranked 47th. This means we moved up 92 ranks according to them. The other indicator is the corruption index from Transparency International. In 2010, we ranked 134th; today we are ranked 99th. We improved by 35 ranks. These two indicators prove that we are on the right track, on the track of establishing strong and stable democratic institutions.”
The landlocked country is confronting severe …Read More

Source:: PM Newspaper