Friday, October 15, 2021
Add this page to Blinklist Add this page to Add this page to Digg Add this page to Facebook Add this page to Furl Add this page to Google Add this page to Ma.Gnolia Add this page to Newsvine Add this page to Reddit Add this page to StumbleUpon Add this page to Technorati Add this page to Yahoo

ideas have consequences

You are here:Home>>Archive>>Displaying items by tag: President Goodluck Jonathan
Displaying items by tag: President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan Acceptance Speech after he was declared the winner

My dear country men and women. This is a new dawn! Our nation has spoken.  At the end of intense and hard fought campaigns by all the political parties, our people spoke through the ballot. In every city, town, village, ward and voting unit, Nigerians stood in the sun, some in the rain, some walked long distances and all waited patiently, to vote.

With a heart full of gratitude to Almighty God, I want to thank Nigerians for the great sacrifice and overwhelming national mandate you have just given to me, to preside over the affairs of this nation for the next four years.

We have, by this election, reaffirmed our unity as one nation under God; reiterated our faith in democracy; and underscored our determination to fully join the free world where only the will of the people is the foundation of governance.  We will not let you down.  We will not let Nigeria down.

My brothers and sisters, fellow citizens, we are all winners. In this context, there is no victor and no vanquished.  Nigerians have proved to the world that we are capable of holding free, fair and credible elections. With the evident national spread of our victory, we have demonstrated that even in our diversity, the progress of Nigeria remains paramount to all.

This is a victory for the sustenance of our democracy; a victory which all Nigerians irrespective of creed, ethnicity, or state of origin should celebrate.  It is a triumph for our common destiny as a people with shared ideals, shared dreams and shared hopes.

I congratulate the candidates of the other political parties. I regard them not as opponents, but as partners. Indeed, some of them have held high public office in the past.

Let me pay particular tribute to General Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and the other patriots and their running mates. They all did well and the nation expects their continued demonstration of leadership and commitment to our efforts at nation building.

The elections are not yet over. We still have to elect our Governors and members of our State Houses of Assembly. We must approach the remaining elections with the same level of enthusiasm and seriousness.

We have to remain vigilant. On our part, we continue to assure you that the mechanisms that were put in place to assure free and fair elections are maintained.

When I declared my intention to run for the office of President under the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, I reflected on my humble background and the long journey that brought me to that moment.

Eight months later, I stand before you as the winner of the 2011 Presidential election.  I am humbled by your overwhelming mandate.

During that declaration, I said that I had no enemies.  Let me say it again, I have no enemies to fight.

Indeed, I reassure all Nigerians that we would continue to run a government that is committed to fairness, equity and justice for all.

The progress we seek for our country is in our collective hands. I am confident that with this new spirit of national reawakening and our sense of collective ownership of the Nigerian project, a firm foundation has been laid for participatory governance and progress.

Together we will build a new economy that is strong and dynamic and underpinned by a patriotic work ethic.  Together we will remake our society to emphasize the most noble of our national values, and together we shall recreate a great nation welded in unity and harmony; a nation marching towards collective progress in which no one is left behind.

This election is the renewal of hope. As we march towards our centenary as a nation in the year 2014, this election will be remembered as that which reaffirmed our faith and strengthened the bond of our union.  We found within ourselves the basis for our national confidence.  We demonstrated that we are making great strides in consolidating democratic governance.  This election is further evidence that Nigeria is secure, that we are stable; and most of all, that the future of Nigeria is bright.

Now, we must all unite.  We must quickly move away from partisan battlegrounds and find the national common ground.  We must show the world that this nation of many people will always find the love, the courage and the path to move forward as one.  Let us join hands to build a prosperous nation. This is the challenge of our generation.  This is our unfinished task. On my part, I promise to run an all-inclusive government.

It is on this note that I am greatly pained at reports of incidences of unnecessary violence and loss of lives and property in some parts of the country over the past twenty four hours.

I enjoin our political and religious leaders, in their usual sense of patriotism to call on their followers to eschew all acts of bitterness and violence. As I have always stated, nobody’s political ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.

I thank all the nations of the world, their leaders and our friends for their goodwill.  I thank our friends from the national and international media, religious leaders, civil society, voluntary organizations, development partners and our talented diaspora Nigerians that are reporting, monitoring or participating in our elections.  We have benefitted from their fair observations.

My special thanks go to all our public services, security agencies, academia, members of the National Youth Service Corps and emergency services. These men, women and youth are making huge sacrifices towards the success of the 2011 elections.

I wish to express my profound thanks to Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo.  He brought strength and commitment to our ticket.  I am equally grateful to the leadership and members of the PDP; the governors of the 36 states of the Federation; members of the Presidential Campaign Council and all our supporters across the nation for their great sense of dedication, faith and exemplary conduct.

Now is the time for all Nigerians to reach out to their neighbours.  I want all of us to join hands in brotherhood, party affiliation or preferred candidate not withstanding. We are all Nigerians and I will President to all. This is the new dawn we crave. What is now required is a new commitment, national solidarity and rededication to service.

Come, join me, let’s continue on the road of national transformation.

Let us all thank our merciful God for this day.  Let us all continue to pray for God’s guidance in the years ahead.

I thank you and May God bless Nigeria.


Published in Archive

President Jonathan peaceful nomination is a good economics

A miracle happened in Nigeria on the day President Jonathan was nominated to be the flag bearer and presidential candidate for Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), the largest political party in Nigeria. The miracle that eluded many local experts and local media was not the election of President Jonathan per se, but the aftermath peace, transparency and stability that came with it.  The calm and relaxed atmosphere that followed the PDP convention was an omen of the country’s rising maturation and tolerance. There was no fighting and no violence on the streets of Nigeria and the country was safe for democratic capitalism.

A teachable moment happened in Nigeria, contrary to what the naysayers were bellowing about Nigeria – ‘the religious and regional divide that comes with violence and instability’ but Nigeria overcome it at the PDP convention. This is important, for had confusion and violence followed the political convention, they would have said, ‘I tell you so, for nothing good comes out of Nigeria.’

The international and domestic communities together with investors responded with their further investments in Nigerian stock exchange. In capitalist democracies investors vote with their pocketbooks and stock markets become the barometer to measure the way investors and traders felt. To Nigeria’s credit the nomination shows that contrary to many slanted observations and analysis, Nigeria is a nation that is willing to stay together and work together at least for that moment.

The country may have just begun to start making the tiny step to growth and self actualization. But this cannot be interpreted that Nigeria is now standing tall without existential problems. Far from the truth, Nigeria still has many problems but peaceful nomination of President Jonathan is a testament that Nigeria is better than what the world would like to think about the country. Nigeria is not necessarily out of the woods; therefore she cannot afford to sit on her laurels but to increasingly build on this for free and fair April election.

There is an American adage, “follow the money” and investors have proven with their resources and money that Nigeria is safe for investment.  The Nigerian stocks were on fire after the successful nomination of President Jonathan. There were no riots, no ethnic and religious conflagrations. The winners and losers shook hands and go home. Many investors were happy with the outcome of the convention. They realized that there is a continuation and that their investments are safe and protected. Therefore investors showed a resounding approval by investing more and sending in more money.

Lead Image

President  Goodluck Jonathan, addressing delegates at the PDP national convention in Abuja with vice president Namadi Sambo. Photo: NAN

Due to the political stability that followed PDP convention, Nigerian Stock Exchange rose to eight-month high. The international news network, Bloomberg reported that: “Nigerian stocks, the world’s best performers this year, rose to an eight-month high as President Goodluck Jonathan won the ruling party’s nomination to compete in an election this year, easing concern that infighting would destabilize the nation.” This is good news for Nigeria and moment of triumph over cynicism and mischaracterization of Nigeria’s situation.  There are good people in Nigeria, the silent majority that are committed in building a good country.

“ The 215-member Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index added 0.9 percent to close at 27,267.17 by 2:30 p.m. in Lagos, according to an e-mailed statement from the bourse, the highest since May 19. The measure has gained 10 percent this year, making it the best-performing equity index among 91 tracked by Bloomberg. Nigeria Breweries Plc, the second-biggest company by market value, led gains, surging 5 percent to 91.43 naira, the highest since 2002.”

Nigeria has been seen as hopeless, dissected and balkanized in the minds of those that want the country to fall apart and to be label a failed state. Nigeria was type casted as a nation divided by religion and region but that is not the whole story about Nigeria. Most Nigerians live together in peace; co-existing with each other and working together.  Now in Nigeria a citizen respective of religion, region or creed can become a Nigerian president and that is the good news. But nobody is denying the problems of the country but a small but important leap was made with peaceful convention and nomination of President Jonathan.

The business community is looking for a place to grow their money with appreciate able returns. Nigeria is gradually taking a minimal but a significant step; rising to the occasion, demonstrating to friends and foes and most importantly to herself that she can grow up. The global business is now seeing Nigeria, as an emerging nation with a good prospect and a safe place to invest.


President Goodluck Jonathan in Anambra State

Anambra State and its people including Governor Obi are making the preparation and putting the finishing touch to receive the August visitor, His Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan on his official visit to the state. The people of the state will come out in mass numbers to receive and show Anambra hospitality to the president. Without doubt, the people of the state and its government are solidly in support of the president and his progressive policies. While ago the governors of south eastern Nigeria and stakeholders congregated at Enugu and wholeheartedly endorsed President Jonathan for another four years.

Anambra State has a lot to be proud of and as it’s truly the -light of the nation. The state and its people have contributed immensely in the making of Nigeria and are in the vanguard of Nigeria’s actualization. The great sons and daughters of Anambra State have continued to make Nigeria proud and great.  The one shining example was the role played by the late Rt. Honourabe Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe in struggle to free Nigerians from colonialism and ushered the country into the oasis of freedom and liberty.

Even to the present day illustrious sons and daughters of Anambra State including those at home and Diasporas have not rested on their laurels but used every opportunity to make Nigeria better and greater. The Honorable Chinua Achebe, an Anambrian and one of the greatest novelist of our time continues to speak out on issues that are relevant to the people of Anambra state and indeed Nigeria.

With the availability of ample human capital in Anambra State, there are also numerous problems confronting the state. This is where Governor Peter Obi comes in and he will have the ear of the president of Nigeria with this official visit. First and foremost, the provision of security is not adequate to confront the menace of kidnapping. The problem of kidnapping is among the major problems confronting the state. The government of Anambra State may not appreciate the depth of the problem but kidnapping is a clog in the progress of the state.

Anambra State business community especially the tourism industry is bearing the brunt of kidnapping that have gone rampant in the state. Anambra citizens residing outside the state are reluctant to journey home as fear of being kidnapped becomes overwhelmingly probable and real. The citizens of Anambra State in Diasporas especially those in North America and Europe are not returning to the state in a record numbers. The state is losing out because money and resources are not flowing freely into Anambra State.

Governor Obi will dialogue with the president and solicit for a help in providing adequate security to protect lives and property in the state. After all, the most important function of a government is the protection of life and property. President Jonathan is a progressive and compassionate leader; he will come to the aid of the government and people of Anambra State on this calamity they are experiencing.

Another major problem is the issue of unemployment among the youths. The young men and women are the most important human resources needed for growth and development. In a capitalist economy government do not necessarily create jobs but they do create conducive environment that enable job creation to be possible and sustainable. President Jonathan’s visit to the state can be a source of relief and the beginning of something great and spectacular for the Anambra state and indeed Nigeria.

Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol Organization. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.



Published in Emeka Chiakwelu



Fellow Citizens,

Today, 1st October, 2010 marks the 50th Anniversary of our independence from Britain. It is with a deep sense of humility and gratitude to the Almighty that I address you this morning.

On this day in 1960, the heroes of the nationalist struggles and all Nigerians were full of hopes and dreams. The citizens of the new country danced in colourful celebration of the newfound freedom. Nigerians were filled with expectations as the Union Jack was lowered and the green-white-green flag was raised in its place. A new country was born. A new journey had started on a road never taken before.  The future was pregnant with promise.

With patriotism and pragmatism, our founding fathers charted a course for the greatness of this country. While there were differences and disagreements, they did not waver in their desire to build a country that future generations would be proud of. They made compromises and sacrifices. They toiled night and day to build a viable country where progress and peace would reign supreme.

Our independence was gained by men and women who envisioned a land of freedom and one of opportunity.

Our founding fathers sought a government of character, that seeks justice to her citizens as our national anthem so eloquently describes: One Nation Bound in Freedom, Peace and Unity. However, today, the opinion of many Nigerians is that these dreams and expectations have not been fulfilled.  Not only have people despaired about the slow pace of progress, some have in fact given up on the country. Some believe that if the colonial masters had stayed longer, Nigeria may have been the better for it.

All these postulations, we must admit, are borne out of a somewhat justifiable sense of frustration. Our troubles and failures are well catalogued. For a country that was, in terms of development, on a similar, if not better level with many countries at independence, it is  discomforting that we are lagging behind as the economic indicators among nations now show.

In the midst of these challenges, it is easy to forget our unusual circumstances. We have actually been moving from one political instability to the other such that we have barely been able to plan long-term and implement policies on a fairly consistent basis.

This instability has also impacted negatively on institutional development, which is necessary for advancement. The structures of governance had barely been developed when we ran into a series of political obstacles shortly after Independence.

While we were at it, the military took over power and this fuelled a different kind of political instability which ultimately led to the unfortunate 30-month Civil War. This was certainly not the dream of our founding fathers who sacrificed so much to give us Nigeria. They did not dream of a country where brothers would be killing brothers and sisters killing sisters. They did not dream of a country where neighbours and friends would exchange bullets in place of handshakes.

Military rule and the Civil War were major setbacks for our nationhood. They produced a polluted national landscape. This did not offer the best atmosphere for national development. It impacted negatively on Nigeria socially, politically and economically, a situation which further undermined our aspiration as a stable nation.  Without political stability, it has been very difficult to plan and build our institutions like other countries that were our peers.

Dear compatriots, despite the serious challenges that we have been living with; we cannot ignore the fact that we have cause to celebrate our nationhood and even a greater cause to look forward to a brighter future. This is a historic occasion when we need to pause and appreciate who we are, what we have, and to reflect on the encouraging possibilities ahead. There is certainly much to celebrate:  our freedom, our strength, our unity and our resilience.

This is also a time for stock-taking,  to consider our past so that it will inform our future.  This is a time to look forward to the great opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for Nigeria. In fifty years, we have in several respects, attained heights that we should be very proud of as a nation.

In the fields of science and technology, education, the arts, entertainment, scholarship, and diplomacy, Nigerians have distinguished themselves in spite of the enormous hurdles they encounter everyday. If we could achieve so much under tough conditions, we are capable of achieving even much more in our journey to the Promised Land.

Our strides in medical science are hardly celebrated. Recently a team of Nigerian scientists led by Dauda Oladepo of the International Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) discovered CD4 Lymphocyte baseline for testing people living with HIV/AIDS.  The effort is all the more remarkable because it was funded by the Federal Ministry of Health and its findings are particularly useful to the Nigerian environment.  The discovery is very vital to monitoring and managing the disease progression in infected people.

Also, a Nigerian scientist, Dr. Louis Nelson, has made significant progress in his research to find a permanent cure for diabetes, which afflicts over 123 million sufferers worldwide. The vaccine that has made Yellow Fever disease manageable was developed in our shores! While we may not have landed a spaceship on the moon or developed nuclear technology, our inventors and innovators have made globally acknowledged contributions. Clearly, these are indications that within us are potentials that can be harnessed for greatness.

Nigerian writers have won numerous awards on the global stage.  Professor Wole Soyinka gave Africa its first Nobel Prize in Literature.  Professor Chinua Achebe pioneered the most successful African novel in history.  Ben Okri won the Booker prize.  Helon Habila,  Sefi Attah and Chimamanda Adichie, among several others, are internationally renowned.

In the movie industry, Nollywood is rated second biggest in the world. Nigerians have by themselves defied all that is negative around them to build a billion dollar film industry from the scratch.  This is a major landmark worth celebrating.

Today our actors and artistes are household names in Africa and parts of the world. The future can only be brighter as competition in this sector breeds improved quality and better creativity. Our leading professionals - lawyers, scientists, economists, doctors, diplomats and academics are celebrated all over the world. They occupy prestigious positions in the leading institutions across the developed world. Most of them were born and bred in Nigeria. Most of them schooled here before they travelled abroad. This should tell us something: that daunting as our circumstances have been, we are still full of ability and capability. We are blessed with talented and patriotic Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, many of whom are willing and ready to return home to be part of the drive to turn Nigeria around for good, so that the country can take its pride of place in the comity of nations.

My brothers and sisters, as we begin the journey to another fifty years of nationhood, we have two choices to make.  We can choose to focus on the imperfections and problems that easily beset us as a nation or we choose to focus on the unlimited possibilities that we have. I urge us all to choose the latter.  I prefer to see the silver lining in the dark cloud rather than the dark cloud in the silver lining.

Today, we need to celebrate the remarkable resilience of the Nigerian spirit. We need to appreciate, that even though the road has been bumpy; we have trudged on, in hope. We may not have overcome our challenges, but neither have our challenges overcome us. Whenever we are completely written off, we always bounce back from the edge to renew our national bond for the benefit of our progress. That is the Nigerian spirit. This is what has kept us together as a country even when other countries with far less challenges have fallen apart.

Our recovery from the scars of the Western Region Crisis, the Civil War, and the June 12, 1993 election annulment has convinced me more than anything else that Nigeria is destined for greatness. It has proved that in our differences, tough circumstances and diversity, what binds us together is far stronger more than what divides us.  We have a glorious future awaiting us. I am convinced that North or South, East or West,  Muslim, Christian or other faiths, majority or minority, we are all bound by our common humanity and mutual aspirations.

We are not sworn enemies.  We are not irreconcilable foes.  We are neighbours who sometimes offend each other but can always sit down to talk over our differences.  We are one people and one family. There are clear examples across the country where, in one family, you have people of different faiths and convictions living peacefully under the same roof.

The father could be a Muslim, the mother a Christian and the children professing different faiths. Yet, they do not draw the sword against one another in the name of religion.

Fellow compatriots, one of the greatest achievements of our union this past fifty years is our togetherness.  The late Sardauna of Sokoto, Alhaji Ahmadu Bello once said:  "Let us understand our differences."  I identify fully with these words of wisdom.  Our faith may be different.  We may not speak the same language.  We may not eat the same kind of food.  But we are in a plural society where we have continued to accommodate one another and integrate without reservations.  This we must build on!  This we must strengthen! We have the opportunity of imitating our forefathers by envisioning a new society where our children and children's children will live in peace and harmony and enjoy good quality of life comparable to the best the world can offer.

Today marks the dawn of a new era.  It is in our hands to decide what we want to make of it.  We must reawaken in ourselves the hunger and aspirations of our founding fathers for a strong, united and prosperous nation that shall be the pride of future generations. To do this, we must change the old ways of doing things. The core values of patriotism, hardwork, integrity and commitment to good governance must henceforth take precedence.

It seems to me that the consensus of most Nigerians is that the time has come for us to break from the past and progress into a better future. We should not allow Nigeria to be pulled back again by those who believe it is either they have their way or the country should fall to pieces. The new Nigeria ahead of us, the new Nigeria we have to build together,  is a society where everybody must feel at home. It must be a place we can all be happy, comfortable and confident to call our country. It is not just enough for us to talk about how Nigeria can be great; it is our duty to make Nigeria great.

We can change Nigeria from our communities, cubicles and desks. The task to make Nigeria great is a task for everyone.

My fellow citizens, we stand at a cross road.  Our forefathers did not achieve our freedom by doing what was easy or convenient.  We have not sustained our independence and built our democracy by wishful thinking.  We must not allow our future to pass us by.  We must grasp it and shape it,  drawing on the same spirit and vision that inspired our founding fathers fifty years ago.

On my part, I promise visionary and committed leadership.  I promise to give my all, my best, to our great country.  I am committed to ensuring public safety and security.  Government is fully aware of the ugly security situation in Abia State.  We are determined to confront it with even greater vigour. For our present and our future,  I am committed to improving the quality of education and to give Nigeria the edge in human capital development.  We will rebuild our economy by continuing the implementation of the reforms in the banking and other sectors to ensure economic progress.

I will fight corruption and demand transparency so that we can all take pride in our government. Through various policies,  we shall continue to seek ways to grow the economy further,  give our citizens greater opportunity so that we can compete better in the global market place.

I am committed to the implementation of a national fiscal policy that will encourage growth and development.  We will give priority to wealth creation and employment generation.  I am focused on addressing our infrastructure needs,  especially power, as this is the biggest obstacle to our economic development and wealth creation.

I am determined to implement to the letter the recently launched power sector roadmap,  and I am confident that we will soon be able to provide the power that we need today as well as the resources to meet the needs of tomorrow. All the issues bordering on peace, justice and stability in the Niger Delta are being addressed and will continue to receive attention as we consolidate on the Amnesty Programme.

When God gives you an opportunity,  you must use it to His glory and to the glory of His creations.  I promise to use the opportunity given to me by God and the Nigerian people to move Nigeria forward.  We must therefore pay special attention to the advancement of our democracy through credible elections.  I have said this and I will say it again, with all the conviction in me: Our votes must count! One man, One Vote! One woman, one vote! One youth, one vote!

The future of Nigeria and generations yet unborn is at stake. We must start the journey to the next fifty years with credible elections,  with a clean break from the past.  We must show the whole world that we can do things the right and the equitable way. This is my pledge and I will never deviate from it.

The Nigeria of the next fifty years must be a land of delight.  The signs are not difficult to see.  We have a hardworking population,  a growing sense of Nigerianness and a new generation of leaders with new ideas. We must have a new sense of purpose and a determination to make things work. WE MUST COLLECTIVELY TRANSFORM NIGERIA.

The ultimate result of all these,  Fellow Citizens,  is that a new Nigeria is in the making.  The worst is over.  Our latest democratic dispensation has defied all the odds. Since Independence, we have never had 11 years of unbroken civilian rule as we have today. This is a new experience for us. With this comes stability.  With this comes the building of strong institutions.  With this comes the ability to plan and pursue our plans.

The great people of Nigeria, I implore all to join in the renewed efforts to remake Nigeria.  It is a task for everyone.  Pray for our country;  wish our country well;  do things that will make our country great;  see and tap into opportunities for greatness that are everywhere around you and take pride in Nigeria. These are the ideals that I embrace.  These are the issues that I am committed to.

In conclusion, I will like to speak to Nigeria's greatest resource: our young men and women. I say you have the greatest stake in transforming our nation. It is time for this generation of Nigerians to answer the call and contribute to Nigeria's foundation of freedom.  That is how this generation will make its mark. That is how we will make the most of these opportunities. That is how we will ensure that five decades from now,  as our children and grand children celebrate our nation's independence centenary,  we will be remembered as having contributed to the great history of Nigeria.

On my part I commit myself to doing my very best and to call on your intellect, wisdom and commitment to bring this dream to fruition.

May God Almighty bless you all!

May God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

-        Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR,

President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria




Friday, 01 October 2010 00:16

CNN interviews President Goodluck Jonathan


Transcript: CNN interviews Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

September 30, 2010 -- Updated 2134 GMT (0534 HKT)

This is a transcript of an exclusive interview between CNN's Isha Sesay and Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Palace in Abuja.

Abuja, Nigeria (CNN) -- -- Isha Sesay: President Jonathan, thank you, so much for sitting down to speak to CNN. Nigerian is celebrating 50 years of independence. I want to get your thoughts on what you think the country has achieved in that time.

President Jonathan: Within the past 50 years as a nation just like as a child that is starting developing, when you get to the age of 25 you look back and compare yourself to your peer. By the time you get to the age of 50 you also look back at what you have achieved.

One thing that I know and I feel Nigerians will celebrate is continuity and peace. Yes we experienced civil war that lasted 13 months. Some other countries experienced civil wars that lasted for years. We have our own challenges that government is confronting but still we play significant role globally.

Whenever they talk about Africa they want Nigeria's voice. So you can still see that Nigeria (can) still play a unique role globally and we are still united and confronting our challenges. That alone is enough to celebrate.

Isha Sesay: You talk about the unity and stability that Nigeria has as a feature at 50 years. Another feature is the high poverty rates and infrastructure issues that remain. These are two elements that exist in a country that over 50 years has established itself as a world leader in oil production. There is a lot of money in this country, I have been here several times and spoken to a lot of people, yet you are still dealing with these issues. Where has all the money gone?

President Jonathan: If you look at the money coming from oil vis a vis the population you see it is quite little. When you talk about the oil wealth you compare nations. There are some nations with less than five million people. Nigeria has 150 million people. I cannot say that all the money earned from oil since 1958, when the first drop of oil was exported from this country to date, that the money has been effectively used. I am not saying there are no leakages.

Isha Sesay: I want to look forward now. There are many who believe that with your decision to compete in the election you are going against the zoning agreement which states that the presidency will rotate between the north and the south every eight years. The late president Yar'Adua was a northerner. He died in his first term. There are those who feel that you are putting personal ambition ahead of the stability and peace of Nigeria. Is that what you are doing?

President Jonathan: Definitely not. The argument about zoning and the presidency of Nigeria is like the philosophical argument of the egg or the hen. Who is older through the evolutionary process, who came first? In the first place if this country had agreed the presidency rotates between north and south I would not be the president today. I couldn't have been if there is an agreement in this country that it rotates between north and south. I couldn't have been the president the day Yar'Adua died -- another northerner would have taken over and I could have continued as the vice president.

Isha Sesay: You are effectively saying if I understand you that the zoning agreement doesn't include the presidency. You are effectively saying it includes other secondary issues, because many disagree with you, even the former vice president Abubakar is not the case. They site a 2002 meeting in December, a caucus meeting where they say there was an expressed decision to say it should include the presidency. Be that as it may, I ask you this question: should violence break out, which you can never rule out in Nigeria, unfortunately it is a reality. Should violence break out as a result of your decision, because the northerners are aggrieved, will you take responsibility for what plays out?

President Jonathan: I can tell you very clearly that violence will not break out because of my interests. I can tell you very clearly.

Isha Sesay: So categorically you say there will not be violence?

President Jonathan: We have security challenges, we have our challenges. If my interest would have instigated crisis that day the signs would have showed. If anybody thinks he will fuel crisis we will take him on.

Isha Sesay: What do you stand for? What are your policies?

President Jonathan: We want to lead a country where people will be less greedy. Where people will know that the commonwealth of Nigeria belongs to all Nigerians, where people's wealth depends on the people around you. If you become a rich person and everyone around you is poor you are very poor.

I want to live in a country where we no longer live as prisoners. Why do we have excesses of criminal activity now? Because the thinking is that the wealth is not uniformly distributed. A lot of young guys who have no jobs and they have no hope so they take to ammunition as some kind of anti-social living. We want to refocus Nigeria to make sure that basic infrastructure is provided. The environment is created for private investment, both within and direct foreign investment. So jobs will be created. That is my dream for Nigeria.

Isha Sesay: So you are saying you represent what? You represent what? Future change, what do you represent?

President Jonathan: I represent a group that is saying this country must be transformed. I am not saying that those in the past didn't do well. They tried, but using the capability of Nigerians. If you come to this country they are talking about brain drain. Well-trained medical doctors and engineers leave Nigeria to the developed countries. We want to reverse that.

Isha Sesay: Let's move on and talk about corruption. It is one of those issues here in Nigeria that every time there is an election, politicians stand up and say they are going to tackle it and get rid of it. That is just the ugly truth. Why should people believe you when you say that you will do something about the problem? Will you do something lasting about the problem?

President Jonathan: You can never play politics with the development of Nigeria. Yes the issue of corruption is a major challenge especially in developing societies not only in Nigeria. Even in developed societies, frankly speaking, it is just because their laws are so stringent and they (are) monitored.

Most of the people who create big corruptions here, especially the companies, they are not Nigerians. But the laws of the land and the he institutions that are set up to enforce these laws are up to the task. And what we have to... It is not me, Jonathan Goodluck, that will go and catch a corrupt person. But we will strengthen the institutions to do their work. That is what happens in developed societies.

Isha Sesay: I want to talk about the Niger Delta and what your plans are should you become president after the 2011 elections. What are your plans to permanently deal with the issues there?

President Jonathan: It is challenging especially now that resources are limited. But we must provide basic infrastructure. Second is the education. We must focus that area and make sure that the young men and woman from that area have an opportunity to be well educated. Because someone who is well educated, their orientation changes. And when you now educate the people they will now play a key role in the oil industry.

So if you provide the basic infrastructure, which can't be done overnight, you provide good education and you make them play a role in the long chain of the oil industry you will see that this restiveness will begin to get reduced gradually.

Isha Sesay: A place like Somalia for instance, if you are called on to submit troops to contribute troops?

President Jonathan: We cannot go to Somalia for peacekeeping. We must go to Somalia for peace enforcement. So if the day I (am) moving troops to Somalia I am going with all the force that will require. Now the UN must change the rules of engagement to allow us to defend ourselves. I will not allow one Nigerian soldier to be killed by anybody. But the rules of engagement create problems where you have very militant and non-cooperative militia group(s) who will see the UN troops as their enemies when they should see them as their friends.

Isha Sesay: So you would be looking to change the mandate, effectively?

President Jonathan: Yes. And we will go. We must not just send one. We must send enough and we must provide them with enough platforms for them to operate.

Isha Sesay: So the kidnapping of a school bus of children in Abia state earlier on this week. What is happening?

President Jonathan: That part of this country must be under control. I am not telling you too much but it must be under control. And the kidnappers have a very short history. They will celebrate their victories for a few days more.

Isha Sesay: But is an operation underway?

President Jonathan: We are on it and definitely we will get them out.

Source: CNN


Sunday, 19 September 2010 14:26



Forty months ago my predecessor in office and I embarked on a joint ticket in the governance of our great country, Nigeria. Sadly, he passed away on the 5th of May 2010.


With the death of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, the mantle of leadership of our great nation fell on me. However, the days leading to my presidency were very trying times for our nation. We confronted those moments and their challenges to national security with patriotism and care. I appreciate the role played by the National Assembly, Governors, Civil Society groups, the mass media, and other patriotic Nigerians.

The late President Yar'Adua and I shared great dreams for our country. We toiled together to realize those dreams in order to justify the confidence Nigerians reposed in us. Together we swore to execute a joint mandate and today I come before you to make a pronouncement based on that undertaking.

The past four months that I have served as President of Nigeria have opened my eyes to the vast potentials of this office as a potent instrument for the transformation of our country. I discovered that by sheer willpower, I could end the long queues and price fluctuations in our petrol stations. Today, all our refineries are working, saving us huge amounts of funds spent on importation of petroleum products.

I discovered that by insisting that the right things be done, we could begin a turnaround in our power sector by involving the private sector in power generation and distribution. As you can see from the lower quantities of diesel that you are buying today, power generation has significantly improved.


I have put in place new gas policies and very soon, we will be saying goodbye to gas flaring in our oil fields. Working with the National Assembly, we rolled out a law that requires companies operating in the oil and gas sectors of our economy to utilize an appreciable percentage of their goods and services from local sources. We saw to it that normalcy began to return to the Niger Delta by ensuring government's fidelity to its promises, and this has helped to stabilize our national revenue.

In the last few months, I embarked on monumental projects in our road infrastructure to end the carnage on our federal highways. I began several projects to make our water resources available for drinking and farming. I targeted our educational system to return quality and competitiveness to them. I re-addressed our drive for self-sufficiency in food production. I have taken bold steps to confront our security situation. In this regard, we are pursuing the revision of our laws to be more responsive to international conventions and more punitive to criminals.

I set the stage for free and fair elections by constituting an electoral commission comprising of Nigerians with impeccable credentials for firmness and incorruptibility. I charged our anti-corruption agencies to speed up the war against corruption, and respect no sacred cows in the process. In the management of the economy, I advocated a more transparent banking industry, price stability, low inflation, and aggregate increase in productivity as a way to drive us to a more prosperous economy. In International Relations, I advanced the respectability accorded our country by effective engagement in global fora.

From the moment I was sworn in as President, I came under intense pressure to make a declaration concerning my political future, but declined to do so because it would have immediately distracted us from all the development initiatives we have accomplished so far.

As President and leader of this government, I decided not to place partisan politics above the immediate needs and priorities of our people. I therefore told Nigerians to give me time to concentrate on my work, and that at the appropriate time; I would make a public statement on my political future after widespree consultations have now been concluded. The Independent National Electoral Commission has recently announced a time table for the 2011 general elections in the country. My party, the People’s Democratic Party, has also published a timetable for its primaries.

In the circumstances and after a thorough self-examination and prayers with my family, I, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan have decided to humbly offer myself as a candidate in the Presidential Primaries of our great party, the People’s Democratic Party, in order to stand for the 2011 Presidential elections. I pledge once again to all the people of this nation that they will have a free and fair election, even as I stand to be a candidate. In this race, I have the honour to have as my running mate, Architect Namadi Sambo, the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Our country is at the threshold of a new era; an era that beckons for a new kind of leadership; a leadership that is uncontaminated by the prejudices of the past; a leadership committed to change; a leadership that reinvents government, to solve the everyday problems that confront the average Nigerian.

I was not born rich, and in my youth, I never imagined that I would be where I am today, but not once did I ever give up. Not once did I imagine that a child from Otuoke, a small village in the Niger Delta, will one day rise to the position of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I was raised by my mother and father with just enough money to meet our daily needs.

In my early days in school, I had no shoes, no school bags. I carried my books in my hands but never despaired; no car to take me to school but I never despaired. There were days I had only one meal but I never despaired. I walked miles and crossed rivers to school every day but I never despaired. Didn't have power, didn’t have generators, studied with lanterns but I never despaired.

In spite of these, I finished secondary school, attended the University of Port Harcourt, and now hold a doctorate degree.

Fellow Nigerians, if I could make it, you too can make it!

My story is the story of a young Nigerian whose access to education opened up vast opportunities that enabled me to attain my present position. As I travel up and down our country, I see a nation blessed by God with rich agricultural and mineral resources and an enterprising people. I see millions of Nigerians whose potentials for greatness are constrained by the lack of basic infrastructure.

I see Nigerians who can make a difference in the service of their country but are disadvantaged by the lack of opportunities.

My story symbolizes my dream for Nigeria. The dream that any Nigerian child from Kaura- Namoda to Duke town; from Potiskum to Nsukka, from Isale-Eko to Gboko will be able to realize his God-given potentials, unhindered by tribe or religion and unrestricted by improvised political inhibitions. My story holds out the promise of a new Nigeria. A Nigeria built on the virtues of love and respect for one another, on unity, on industry, on hardwork and on good governance.

My fellow Nigerians, this is what has brought me to Eagle Square today. I have come to say to all of you, that Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan is the man you need to put Nigeria right. I have come to launch a campaign of ideas, not one of calumny. I have come to preach love, not hate. I have come to break you away from divisive tendencies of the past which have slowed our drive to true nationhood. I have no enemies to fight. You are all my friends and we share a common destiny.

Let the word go out from this Eagle Square that Jonathan as President in 2011 will herald a new era of transformation of our country; an era that will end the agony of power shortage in our country. Let the word go out from here that I will be for the students, teachers and parents of Nigeria, a President who will advance quality and competitive education. Let everyone in this country hear that I shall strive to the best of my ability to attain self-sufficiency in food production.

Let the word go out that my plans for a Sovereign Wealth Fund with an initial capital of $1billion will begin the journey for an economic restoration. This restoration will provide new job opportunities and alleviate poverty. Let the word go out that our health sector will receive maximum priority in a new Jonathan administration, a priority that will ensure maximum health care and stop our brain drain.

Let all the kidnappers, criminal elements, and miscreants that give us a bad name be ready for the fight that I shall give them. Let the ordinary Nigerian be assured that President Jonathan will have zero tolerance for corruption. Let the international community hear that today I have offered myself to lead a country that will engage them in mutual respect and cooperation for the achievement of international peace and understanding.

To help me in these tasks effectively, I will re-train, revamp, and motivate the civil service.

My dear good people of Nigeria, I got here today by the power of God and the support of all Nigerians; all ethnic groups, North, South, East and West. I am here today because of your support and prayers. I want all of you to know that I am one of you and I will never let you down! I want you to know that I will keep hope alive; I want you to know that your time has come.

I stand before you today, humbly seeking your support for me, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, to run for the office of the President of Nigeria with Architect Namadi Sambo as my running mate.

We will fight for JUSTICE!

We will fight for all Nigerians to have access to POWER!

We will fight for qualitative and competitive EDUCATION!

We will fight for HEALTH CARE REFORMS!

We will fight to create jobs, for all Nigerians!

We will fight corruption!

We will fight to protect all Citizens!

We will fight for your rights!

My dear country men and women, give me your support, give me your votes and together we will fight to build a great nation of our dreams!

I cannot end this speech without thanking you all for attending this occasion. Your huge attendance is a loud testimony of your support for us. For this I am very grateful. I pray that the Almighty God abides with you and sees you safely back to your respective destinations.

When you return, tell all those at home that as we celebrate our fifty years anniversary as a nation, Goodluck has come to transform Nigeria and I will never let you down. Thank You.

May God Bless you all!

And may God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!



It has been reported widely in the press that Nigerian leader and Acting President Goodluck Jonathan will be meeting his American counterpart President Obama in Washington. Obama’s Washington is holding a Nuclear Security Summit and world leaders will assemble in Washington for the summit in early April 12-13. The global leaders including Nigerian president are expected to participate in the summit and he will probably hold talk with President Obama.. This is a great opportunity for His Excellency Goodluck Jonathan to display his leadership skill and reassured the world leaders that he is in control and our great country Nigeria is a peaceful nation that will resolve her problems peacefully.

Given the circumstance that impelled Goodluck Jonathan to the role of acting president, it is imperative that he will make impression on the world stage with his understanding of the role of Nigeria as a leader in Africa and what the world expects from Nigeria. This is a golden opportunity for our leader to engage personally in rebranding and making affirmative impression of Nigeria and himself as an emerging discipline and dynamic leader.

It is widely known that America has interest in Africa with regards to enduring of democracy and democratic principles in the second largest continent. Africa with population bulging into a billion people in near future with enormous natural resources especially crude oil has become a strategic interest to Washington. According to Council on Foreign Relations: "Currently, 15 percent of U.S. oil imports come from Africa—as much as from the Middle East—and the continent is poised to double its output over the coming decade. It has become the focus of attention from countries like China, which now imports more oil from Angola than from Saudi Arabia. In addition, Africa is rising in importance in trade, international security, democracy promotion, and efforts to tackle worldwide concerns about global health and poverty."

Oil is the engine of development, the supply is never enough especially the reliable and safe one. With all the troubles in the Middle East, African oil appears to be the safest at this point in time and the supply of African oil is more secured when compared to Middle East and Russia. Africa’s oil proximity to the American market makes its very favorable. The ebony light crude coming from Nigeria is more accessible, easier to explore and refine. Almost 15% of America oil consumption comes from Africa and it is expected to rise up to 25-30% in near future. This makes Africa a strategic important to the West. Although Africa is resources rich but it is still the least developed continent and Africans are still poor.

The world community especially United States know quite well that for Africa to move forward that Nigeria the reluctant giant of Africa must show leadership, by consolidating democracy, probity and free market economy.

Afripol put up an article that analyzed: "THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION: THE POLICY FOR NIGERIA" the article listed litany of Nigeria’s expectations and needs.

Carson Assistant Secretary, Bureau of African, reinforced America’s interest in Africa: "Nigeria, Guinea and other African countries need civilian governments that deliver services to their people, independent judiciaries that respect and enforce the rule of law, professional security forces that respect human rights, strong and effective legislative institutions, a free and responsible press, and a dynamic civil society. This is not a list of options or some menu from which governments and leaders may pick and choose to suit their own ambitions. There has been far too much of that behavior in the past. Rather, all of these rights are requirements for a stable and prosperous Africa that will help ensure a brighter future for the African people." Therefore Nigeria must lead Africa by examples.

Goodluck Jonathan to be strategic in his engagements

 Nigerian leader must be willing to do business with United States. He should emphasis mutual benefits for both countries. He will show to his counterpart that he is willing to work with him inorder to realize the dream of making Nigeria a resourceful, effective and respectful nation that is working for average Nigerian.

Be concise and direct

Instead of handing over volumes of documents that detailed what Nigeria needs from America. He will talk directly to President Obama in simple words what Nigeria really wants without utilizing convoluted diplomatic languages. President Goodluck will leave diplomatic shenanigans and delivering of volumes of documents to his trained diplomats.

United States is a Friend and an Ally

Our leader must remember that America is a true friend of Nigeria. Thousands of Nigerians are living in America, prospering without hindrance and contributing to America positively. Millions of dollars are transferred from Nigerian Americans to the country of their birth Nigeria. And these Nigerians living in America are bringing ideas, knowledge and resources to make Nigeria a better nation. For this our country must show appreciation and build on this friendship for mutual benefits of both countries. The reward of President Goodluck Jonathan trip to America and meeting with President Obama may be the beginning of better understanding of Nigeria’s predicament and appreciation of America’s invaluable friendship.

Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol Organization. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Published in Archive

Nigeria the economic power house of West Africa sub-region was invited to the G-8 and G-20 combined summit that took place in the Western hemisphere nation of Canada. Nigeria is not an official member of either G8 or G20 but an invitation to the summit was given to her along with other important emerging markets of Southern hemisphere. South Africa was also at the meeting as an official member of G20. Nigeria and South Africa are largest economies in Africa. While South Africa is a member of G-20, Nigeria is not. Nigeria‘s GDP is bulging and her economy is growing at the rate of 7.23 percent in the first quarter of 2010 compares to the expected global rate of about 3.9 percent.

This is not the first time Nigeria has been invited to G-8 meeting. She has been coming to these meetings for a while including those held during the era of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US President George Bush. As a guest and as an observer to the summit, Nigeria cannot not fully and thorough participate in depth or take the advantage of a membership holder. The exclusive privileges given to the members of the group eluded of the country, particularly on the fiscal matters.

Why is Nigeria invited to these summits? Well, one can give an intelligent and reasonable answer without much guessing. Yes! Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa and the natural leader of the continent. Nigeria is a sleeping giant of Africa that has been in dormancy for a long time. Nigeria is rich in both human and natural resources but paucity of strategic managers to manage her efficiently has delayed her rise as a developed economic power in the continent. She has been invited to the summits because she has something to offer to the global village. For Nigeria as an economic unit can contribute to stabilization of the world economy by her active and comprehensive participation in the world economic system.

Nigeria could not make it as an official member of G-20 nations because during the formation of the group the country was both political and economic unstable. For a long time Nigeria was under ruler ship of a dictatorial authority and her economy were in miserable hands without adequate productivity and planning. The country‘s economy was fundamentally and structurally imbalanced. The economy operated in the cloak of opaqueness without transparency and probity. But the story is changing and Nigeria is singing a new tune. Democratic capitalism is gradually but steadily taking root in the country.

Now with emergence of democracy and steadily economic progress, Nigeria is ready to become a fully and active member of G-20. The fledging democratic dispensation needs to be nurtured and supported; therefore the best way of encouraging Nigeria is to be accepted into this August body. Nigeria is changing and changing for the best with enduring political sensibility. The change was buttressed during the recent transfer of power which was smooth without hiccups. When the late President Umaru Yar’dua passed away, the vice-President Goodluck Jonathan was swiftly sworn-in without much ado.

His Excellency President Goodluck Jonathan represented Nigeria at the summit in Canada. Since he took the helms of power he has demonstrated his capacity to lead his fellow country men and women in accordance to democratic principle. President Jonathan has been working speedily to resolve the issue of Niger Delta and has been making the requisite arrangements and plans to solve the problem of electric power shortage. Nigerians on the street are beginning to say good things about the new leader. The world leaders are receiving the Nigerian leader with open hands and respect as he moved forward in restoring the dignity of our country. All these developments can help to make Nigeria become an official member of G-20.

Nigeria has continued to be a stabilizing force in Africa and beyond. Nigeria with its strategic role in African Union is moving Africa forward with its leadership. When Liberia and Sierra Leone were raging with civil wars and uprising, Nigerian military contingency was a peace keeping force that restored stability in the troubled land. All over the world, Nigerian peace keepers can be found in troubled places of the world, propelling and protecting peace. Nigeria needs to be part of the G-20 in order to fully represent African financial and economic interest. Resources-rich Africa with a population of almost one billion has not been fully represented in the G-8 or G-20 of the world. Nigeria together with South Africa can best represent the interest of Africa. Therefore let‘s make it official and admit Nigeria to G-20.

Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol Organization. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.

Polio has been identified as one of the most damaging diseases which can snatch away a child’s physical, mental and emotional stimulus to lead a normal, healthy and happy life. This is why; countries across the world have been working together closely to develop a strong Public Health Campaign for complete and total polio eradication since 1988. In most parts of the world, particularly the western nations, the devastating complication of polio is rarely seen today. Even when poliovirus infection occurs in these areas it is the least harmful strain of poliovirus. In addition, there is adequate vaccine to protect against such poliovirus infection. In contrast, less developed countries including Nigeria, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Egypt, the strain of poliovirus is the wild harmful type.

In countries such as Nigeria, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Egypt, thousands of innocent children have been crippled for life due to the transmission of the wild polio virus (Paralytic poliovirus). The strain of poliovirus often may lead to the complications of temporary or permanent muscle weakness, paralysis, disability, and deformities of the hips, ankles and feet. In some cases, the deformities caused by poliovirus infection can be reduced with surgery and physical therapy. Such expensive and intense treatments are not readily available in developing nations where polio is still endemic. As a result, most persons who survive death from polio often live with severe disabilities and low productive lives to even support their families. However, proper and timely immunization campaigns, however, especially in India have helped in reducing and controlling the spread of this life changing disease.

Even though all it takes is to vaccinate each and every child under five with the polio vaccine to achieve global polio eradication, this has not been the case especially in Nigeria due to lack of funds and disjointed running of the immunization campaign. In the recent past, however, Nigeria has shown evidence of a reduction in polio cases thanks to the selfless and commendable work done by the ‘Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’, a joint venture by Microsoft Founder, Bill Gates and his wife, Melinda Gates.

In a meeting recently, the Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan publicly expressed his gratitude for the outstanding work done by Bill Gates and his wife in delivering better healthcare services not just in Nigeria but all over the world. He further admired the contributions made by them both in terms of time and money which has resulted in a drop in the number of polio cases from couple of hundreds in 2009 to just a about three cases this year.

Today, Northern Nigeria has emerged as the only place in the world that has seen so much progress in its goal towards polio reduction and subsequent polio eradication in such a short span of time.

 Author: G. Stanley Okoye, M.D., Ph.D. , Chief Medical Correspondent, Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) and St. Jude Medical Missions ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).