MERRY XMAS

MERRY XMAS

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


  2015: Jonathan justifies second term ambition
2015: Jonathan justifies second term ambition
President Jonathan

2015: Jonathan justifies second term ambition


President Goodluck Jonathan gave yesterday in New York perhaps the clearest indication yet that he will run in 2015.
Dr. Jonathan, who has not declared his interest in the yet-to-open but rancourous race, is faced with a group of seven governors elected on the platform of his party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)- challenging his yet unannounced bid to seek a second term.
At lunch with some Nigerian professionals in New York, United States, as a sideline of his visit to address the United Nations (UN), General Assembly, he said it was not illegal for a president or governor to spend two terms.
Jonathan said: “Already, we have a constitution that makes provision for maximum of eight years for anyone who wants to become a president or a governor. There is no president or governor that all citizens vote for but at the end of the election, if somebody emerges, you must allow the person to work.
“If you love your country, you would want your country to work. That does not mean that you will not vote against the person if you don’t like the way he works, but you must allow him to work.”
Apparently replying critics of his administration, Dr. Jonathan went philosophical. He said: “No matter how you feel about the political situation, consider the interest of your country first before yourself. If you are struggling to enter a house, you must not put dynamite to destroy the house. By the time you get there, there will be no house for you to stay.”
“So, first and foremost, we must collectively build our country. Don’t bother about who is there now because power is transient, very very temporary,” he added.
The President also urged the political class to drop do-or-die approach in politics and allow him to concentrate on his core mandate of governance.
He said Nigerians hold the power to vote out anybody they are not comfortable with.
According to him, political leaders must be mindful of what they say or do in order not to undermine Nigeria’s sovereignty.
The President also spoke on his fight against corruption and the ongoing university teachers’ strike which is nearing three months.
On corruption, he said: “So many people are saying we are not doing well in fighting corruption and before you say that, there must be a parameter for judging us. What are the yardsticks they are using to judge us?
“Before the advent of this government, the Federal Government was spending a whopping N25 billion on fertiliser with only 11 per cent reaching the farmers. But since the coming on board of his administration, government now spends between N5 to N6 billion on fertiliser and we are getting 80 per cent reach.”
“If we wanted to continue to steal money or look for money for election, we could have continued,” Jonathan said
Giving kudos to his team, the President said his administration had made significant progress in reviving rail transportation, aviation, road and other infrastructure.
He said the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had politicised the teachers’ strike.
Jonathan, a former university teacher, said: “We’ve gone very far with the ASUU strike. We believe ASUU has some kind of politics that crawled into the strike, but we are still discussing with them. If things were normal, by now they would have called off the strike,” he said.
He added: “We are doing a lot in terms of improving infrastructure and every other thing in our universities. In fact, this is the very first time a government has set up a team to go around all our universities to examine the infrastructure and a report has been written, which was presented to the National Economic Council and all the governors, and we are working.”
With the President were Minister of Finance Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Olusegun Aganga, Dr. Doyin Okupe and Dr. Reuben Abati, among others.