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'President Goodluck Jonathan Saturday paid the Super Eagles a visit during their training for tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier against Ethiopia and wished the Eagles beat their hosts to put themselves in a good steed to qualify for Brazil 2014.'- The Vanguard
With most of us it is not the big things that defeat us, but the little insignificant irritations. The piranha fish of South American waters are very small, but they can devour a huge animal, even human beings!
"The idea of total self is abstract and therefore tricky. That is, if one starts with the abstract concept, he may then assume and try to realize, a concrete entity that fits the picture in a psychological process called REIFICATION! Also, there is a question as to one's point of reference or viewing point.
With and where is the observer, who is to become aware of that whole immortal self? It can be no other than the familiar practical, mortal self that is aware of the world and as piecemeal as to both."
In this century, mankind was advanced by people like Mahatma Gandhi who contributed much to the immediate resolutions of human conditions, and Albert Eisenstein who contributed to the discovery of "new" realms of modern science. But, when will their work be finally realized? Perhaps they saw a condition that most people did not see, and that vision motivated them to act accordingly in an environment which was restricted in NATURE!
President Jonathan's comments and speeches recently has been to some analysts ' a bag of disappointments', his recent comments during his visits to President Barack Obama in the White House [“For you to fix the world, you must fix Africa. For you to fix Africa, you must fix Nigeria,” President Jonathan said to President Obama as they meet in New York in the opening of their bilateral and diplomatic meeting], speaks volume of disappointment also his eyesore Presidential Media Chat, the alleged Boko Haram leader's Shekau's rumored death. Some called it, 'Erukutu' [Sandy Storm, Unsettled Dust], 'Cyclone', 'Typhoon', Hurricane; and 'Dust Bowl'.
Despite repeated barrage of criticism , GEJ has failed to improve his oratory skills. "There is no thrill in easy sailing when the skies are clear and blue, there is no joy in merely doing things that any man can do. But there are some satisfactions that are mighty, sweat to take when you reach a destination that you thought you would never make".
President Barack Obama of US, told an audience of 3,000 blacks in a darkened Washington Convention Center in the wake of rising black unemployment to, "put on their shoes and follow him on the battle for jobs and opportunities". He said to them; "Shake it off; stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. Just keep pressing on. The future rewards those who press on." The tonic that spurred Africa-Americans!
GEJ, 'A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out', You'll come to learn a great deal if you study the Insignificant in depth. Jonathan's speeches are 'Weak spirit of the President'. There is value in disaster, Jonathan's speeches are pure disaster with no value and the mistakes kept re-occurring.
GEJ,"Once you've failed, analyze the problem and find out why? Because each failure is one more step leading up to the cathedral of success"- Charles Kettering. In the great crisis of America a few names comes to mind; George Washington during the Revolution, Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson during the World War I, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt during the World War II. GEJ, you have being making mistakes, and had look back at it long.
Take the reason of the thing into your mind and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power . There is no "GUSTY" in President Jonathan's speeches, 'Nothing is more dangerous in politics than success according to former Britain PM, Winston Churchill. It was Mahatma Gandhi who wrote; 'A man is the sum of his actions, of what he has done, of what he can do. Nothing else."
President Jonathan's feelings are wasted in words, which ought all to be distilled into actions which brings results. By 2016, Britain will get a five-pound bank note in honor of it's revered wartime leader, Winston Churchill. The bank note will feature his portrait and famous declaration: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat." It will also contain the exact time that speech was made in 1940 and a picture of the Nobel Prize for Literature medal which he won in 1953!
According to Winston Churchill, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat!" What a SPEECH! What's is in the power of speech, President Jonathan? Everything Positive!
Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi.
Cells:+234  701-224-8573.
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The President Jonathan at 68th Session of UN the General Assembly in New Yoork, USA Sept. 24th, 2013
Heads of State and Government;
Ladies and Gentlemen
1. On behalf of the Government and People of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I salute you as you preside over the 68th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I assure you of the full support and cooperation of the Nigerian delegation.
2. I also wish to extend our commendation to the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon, and place on record, Nigeria’s appreciation for his focused and committed leadership of the United Nations system.
3. This Session is coming at a particularly trying period when our world faces a number of critical challenges which make it imperative for us to work within the Charter of the United Nations to meaningfully address them.
4. It is therefore apt that the theme, Post 2015 Development Agenda: Setting the Stage, signposts our desire and determination to actively cooperate for the improvement of the overall welfare and well-being of the most vulnerable citizens of the member-states of our Organisation.
5. Nigeria appreciates the consultative nature of designing the Post-2015 development agenda. Earlier in the year, we supported this global outreach through inclusive consultations and surveys of a number of Nigerians who have expressed their aspirations with respect to the world they expect beyond 2015.
6. A major highlight of this process, which has increased national ownership of the agenda, is the emphasis on the eradication of poverty as the overarching principle in the formulation of the successor framework.
7. Indeed, tomorrow, we will be hosting a side event on the implementation of the MDGs, in collaboration with the UN, a number of African countries, and our development partners.
8. As I had cause to say to this Assembly last Session, 2015 is not a destination but only a milestone to a better, safer, healthier and more compassionate world. Let us therefore renew our commitment to the processes that will develop the post-MDGs framework.
9. This objective is of particular resonance to us in Africa where the challenges of poverty, illiteracy, food insecurity, and climate change continue to engage the attention of the political leadership.
10. The good news however, is that in the last decade, a sustained democratization process across the continent has made significant difference in governance processes, institutions and structures. Today, we have a renascent Africa that has moved away from the era of dictatorship to a new dawn where the ideals of good governance and an emphasis on human rights and justice are beginning to drive state-society relations. This is the present reality of Africa that must replace the old prejudices and assumptions about the continent.
11. We are firm in our conviction that democracy is fundamental to achieving the requisite stability that will enable the realization of a sustainable post-2015 development agenda in Africa.
12. This emergent Africa will require the continued support and partnership of the international community. An Africa that is no longer merely a destination for aid but one that is involved in constructive, multi-sectoral exchanges on the global stage. Our continent stands ready to continue to engage the rest of the world as a partner in formulating a global development agenda that will guarantee peace, security and stability.
13. I wish to express my appreciation for Nigeria’s selection as co-Chair of the Expert Committee on Financing Sustainable Development.
14. The importance of this Committee’s assignment cannot be overstated. For the post-2015 development agenda to be realistic, it must be backed by a robust financing framework which I hope will receive the strong backing of our Organisation’s more endowed members.
15. Nigeria’s commitment to sustainable peace and security propels the country to action along with member states of our sub-regional and continental organisations, whenever stability is threatened in our continent. In recent years, Africa has had its share of conflicts notably in Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Somalia.
16. It is noteworthy that African leaders, with the support of the international community, have demonstrated the capacity to work in concert and decisively in pursuit of long-term solutions in the affected States. While a lot more still needs to be done, we are convinced that progress is being made.
17. The recent Presidential elections in Mali herald a new beginning that should translate into peace and prosperity for its people and provide a stronger basis for stability within the sub-region. I congratulate President Boubacar Keita. Similarly, the political transition process in Guinea Bissau holds much promise. Among African leaders, there is a greater determination and focus on the transformation of the continent. This is the required impetus for the achievement of development objectives
that will benefit the people, and rebrand the continent even more positively.
18. Although our world has not witnessed a global war since the establishment of the United Nations, there have been several conflicts with devastating consequences and impact in virtually all regions of the world. As global citizens, we have a sacred duty to free our world of wars, rivalries, ethnic conflicts, and religious divisions. Our collective effort in our drive for a better world will continue to bind us together.
19. Nigeria continues to support the efforts of the United Nations in addressing the global initiative to combat the menace of the illicit trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons. We have redoubled efforts to address this onerous challenge within our borders and across the West African sub-region.
20. In doing so, we also recognize the need for a broad-based global partnership in the on-going battle against trans-border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy. It is regrettable that these scourges are sustained by unfettered access by non-state actors to illicit small arms and light weapons with which they foster insecurity and instability across our continent. For us in Africa, these are the ‘weapons of mass destruction’!
21. It is therefore, in the light of our collective obligation and unceasing struggle to end this nightmare, that I congratulate Member-States on the adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in April this year. Our hope is that upon its entry into force, the ATT would herald an era of accountable trade in conventional arms which is critical to the security of nations.
22. In line with our continued commitment to this project, Nigeria has signed and ratified the Treaty. We will continue to engage other Member-States for its successful implementation.
23. Terrorism constitutes a major threat to global peace and security, and undermines the capacity for sustained development. In Nigeria, the threat of terrorism in a few States in the North Eastern part of our country has proven to be a challenge to national stability. We will spare no effort in addressing this menace. We are therefore confronting it with every resource at our disposal with due regard for fundamental human rights and the rule of law.
24. Nigeria will like to place on record its appreciation to the international community for its support in this regard. The reign of terror anywhere in the world is an assault on our collective humanity. Three days ago, the stark reality of this menace was again brought to the fore by the dastardly terrorist attack in Nairobi, Kenya. We must stand together to win this war together.
25. Piracy, like terrorism, is another menace that has attained worrisome proportions, especially in Africa’s coastal waters. At the bilateral and multilateral levels, Nigeria has promoted cooperation to mitigate its impact and consequences on the security and economies of the affected coastal states.
26. Indeed, in June this year, the leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission met in Yaounde, Cameroon, and came up with practical steps to collectively confront the menace of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. This effort will, no doubt, require reinforcement and wider support and collaborative action on the part of our international partners.
27. The situation in the Middle East remains volatile. The reported use of chemical weapons in the Syrian crisis, is unacceptable. Nigeria condemns, in the strongest possible terms, the use of chemical weapons that are prohibited by International Conventions.
28. We applaud the current diplomatic efforts to avert further escalation of the crisis. We urge all parties involved to end the violence and seek a negotiated solution, including the instrumentality of the United Nations.
29. The threat which nuclear weapons pose to the survival of the human race is to be understood not just in the context of aspirational nations but also the nations already in possession of such weapons. Nuclear weapons are as unsafe in the hands of small powers as they are in the hands of the major powers. It is our collective responsibility to urge the international community to respond to the clarion call for a peaceful universe in an age of uncertainty.
30. We can attain this objective if we adopt measures and policies that will promote nuclear disarmament, protect and renew our environment, and push towards an international system that is based on trust, mutual respect and shared goals.
31. I believe that I express the concern of many about the slow pace of effort and apparent lack of progress in the reform of the United Nations, especially the Security Council. We believe strongly, that the call for democratization worldwide should not be for States only, but also, for International Organizations such as the UN. That is why we call for the democratization of the Security Council.
32. This is desirable for the enthronement of justice, equity, and fairness; and also for the promotion of a sense of inclusiveness and balance in our world.
33. Our support for the United Nations Security Council in its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security has been total and unwavering. We have, in previous membership of the Council, demonstrated both the political will and capacity to engage in key Council responsibilities. Nigeria has therefore decided to seek election for the 2014-2015 Non-Permanent Seat of the UNSC.
34. I am pleased to state that Nigeria has received the endorsement of the Economic Community of West African States and the African Union. We urge this august Assembly to endorse Nigeria’s candidature.
35. Our world continues to be confronted by pressing problems and threats. No statement that will be made during this Session can exhaust the extent of these problems. The world looks to us, as leaders, to provide hope in the midst of crisis, to provide guidance through difficult socio-political divisions, and to ensure that we live in a better world.
36. We have obligations to the present generation, but we have a greater obligation to generations yet unborn who should one day inherit a world of sufficiency irrespective of the circumstances of their birth or where they reside on the globe. We must work to make that world a reality in recognition of our common heritage.
37. We must strive to eradicate poverty, hunger, disease and human misery; we must eliminate the scourge of nuclear, chemical, biological, as well as small arms and light weapons. We must dedicate ourselves to working together to address global, regional and national challenges and deliver a more peaceful, equitable and prosperous world for all. It is our duty. We must not fail.
38. I thank you.
DR. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is the President and Commander-In-Chief Armed Forces of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“For you to fix the world, you must fix Africa. For you to fix Africa, you must fix Nigeria,” President Jonathan said to President Obama as they meet in New York in the opening of their bilateral and diplomatic meeting.
As world leaders gathered in New York for United Nations annual diplomatic converging of heads of State, the first diplomatic initiative has already been taken place between Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan and American President Barack Obama. The both leaders met at Lyndon B. Johnson suite in the Waldorf-Astoria for the bilateral meeting.
Speaking on the Kenya attack by terroists at the Mall and on broader Africa Obama said, “We stand with them against this terrible outrage that’s occurred, we will provide them with whatever law enforcement help that is necessary. The United States will continue to work with the entire continent of Africa and around the world to make sure that we are dismantling these networks of destruction.”
According to Associate Press, "The two leaders met Monday in New York. Obama stressed a comprehensive anti-terror approach that calls for creating economic opportunity and protecting human rights. During remarks to the media, Obama said ensuring that governments are responsive to people's needs is the best way to undermine the agenda of radical groups like Boko Haram.
Boko Haram's violence occurs mostly in northern Nigeria. Obama called it one of the most vicious terrorist organizations in the world. The White House says Obama also restated U.S. support for strengthening transparent, democratic governance, and of making sure upcoming Nigerian elections in 2015 are peaceful, transparent and credible."
Last Monday, wisdom shouted from a hilltop in the North such that everyone would hear. But those who heard are dismissing it with a wave of the hand. Others who must react overlooked the wisdom and in its stead poured invectives on the medium wisdom used. They claimed the medium has no business speaking wisdom.
Those against what was spoken took this position because they were so blinded by one or all of these: their narrow-mindedness; their being very accustomed to acting in the same way that wisdom is asking them to correct; their being so obsessed with the cause wisdom is speaking against. I can surely say that the foregoing and more must have combined to delude these opponents of the wise proclamation.
This becomes a verity owing to the fact that a professor and a doctor are involved. You can agree with me that it takes much more than one of the above three factors to make a professor neglect wisdom when he accosts it, unless such a professor does not merit going by that tag. Because, any scholar who is a doctor or professor is by that title supposed to be a lover of wisdom.
But, one thing I can surely say is that there is wisdom in the recent utterance of Mohammed Abba-Gana. Mark my words, I didn’t say wisdom permeated all he said but a substantial part of his postulation were clothed with wisdom. The other part that came bare was where he spoke like a member of PDP Board of Trustees that he is. But like they say it’s unwise to throw away a baby alongside the bathwater.
So let’s focus on the baby which is that the north presently needs at least four years to search for a suitable presidential material that could unify the region and that after producing nine of the country’s leaders, the North should give other sections of the country a break to produce the number one citizen as well.
But before people like Prof Ango Abdullahi and Dr Junaid Mohammed take me to the Golgotha, let me disclaim that the above is not my idea. It remains the idea of the man they had already taken to the cleaners. Yet, wisdom rushing through that outlet continued, “Mind you, the region has produced about eight or nine former heads of state of this country and it did not take away poverty from the North.”
True talk! You see, when wisdom speaks, it’s always incontrovertible. That’s why people who want to dispute wisdom hold unto trivialities instead of addressing issues raised by it. They, most times, attack the messenger not the message. This, we saw in the reaction of others to what wisdom said through Abba-Gana who was a one-time FCT minister.
The Secretary-General of Northern Elders’ Forum(NEF)- Prof Ango Abdullahi and Dr Junaid Mohammed- a second Republic lawmaker dismissed the former minister as a politician who had always fraternized with the wrong political group for his personal interest, asking him to speak for himself and not the North.
For Prof Abdullahi, “Abba-Gana is more of a businessman than a people-oriented leader from the North. Having failed to advance any reason why the north should wait for another four years(but he did) to enable Jonathan to run again, he should hide his face in shame.”
On his part, Dr Mohammed maligned, “Abba-Gana was one of the errand boys when we were in active politics and should not be taken seriously because he has no political clout even in Borno State. He does not really merit any response from right-thinking northerners.”
Reading what these two elders said of the former FCT minister show how bigotry has affected their reasoning. Why should right-thinking northerners, nay, Nigerians not take him serious when he has suggested what can take us out of the woods. Let’s then ask, since they aren’t comfortable with what was said, which suitably qualified presidential material from the north has wide acceptance across the region at the moment?
This is because, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha from Taraba State who was with Abba-Gana when he was making the statement, dissociated northern minorities from the clamour for power to shift back to the north. Thus, not until the North produces a candidate with whom both the majority and minority will be well pleased, Abba-Gana’s words remains a true counsel that is worthy of acceptance, not rejection.
We would have forgiven these two northern leaders if their reactions which came separately were immediate. But, it did not. It took over 48 hours in coming meaning they had ample time to find fault in the nub of Abba-Gana’s statement but they just couldn’t. Tell me, what error is there to find in the disclosure that the North has produced nine of our past leaders yet poverty remains very evident there?
Or what is wrong in the assertion that the North should spare another four years to be used in searching and grooming a presidential material with mass appeal that would better appreciate the demands of being a president and minister to the needs of our country? This is what I’m holding unto in all Abba-Gana said and I advise all Nigerians to treasure that as well.
For, one of the prominent reasons our country is in this parlous state is because we’ve always had accidental leaders. People who, in their wildest imagination, never thought of becoming presidents or heads of state. Some of them get into reverie when they were told they will be the next ruler and by the time they came out of that state, their government have wandered off rudderless.
As such, sparing the next term to thoroughly search and prepare a presidential candidate can be a panacea to bringing about a purposeful leader that would end the biting poverty in the North and other parts of the country. And I’m surprised that a professor in the calibre of a former Vice-chancellor of ABU Zaria cannot see the sense in this.
The way some politicians are going about 2015 makes one think there will be no 2019, 2023, 2027… in this country. That a section of the country did not produce the president in 2015 does not mean that same will elude it in 2023. I guess this is the understanding the Igbos have that is making them not so bothered about having one of theirs as president. For as far as there exists Nigeria, one day an Igbo man will be the president. How I wish other zones will come to this understanding.
However, there are fears expressed by Prof Abdullahi and Dr muhammed which to them was why the North can’t wait for another four years. They said that Jonathan lacked the capacity to move Nigeria forward after having failed to tackle the myraid of challenges confronting the nation. They maintained that another four years for Jonathan would push the country into the abyss.
While these fears are not out of place, we can still get around it, not by quarrelling with Abba-Gana, who left out this part as a PDP chieftain, but by throwing our support at other candidates in the race. What else would you have me say, since we should disqualify the North for not having a suitable candidate and Jonathan shouldn’t run so as not to dispatch the country into abyss, let other candidates from other zones run.
By the time one of the candidates who won must have finished his tenure Nigeria would have escaped a place in abyss and the north must have finished grooming and preparing a suitable and generally accepted candidate that will deliver the goods. You see, it promises to be a win-win situation for everybody.
The drumbeats of the 2015 presidential elections are very clear and even deafening on the side of the amalgamated but yet unregistered opposition party. However the People Democratic Party is threading, cautiously as a result of the Presidents ban on Political Campaigns for 2015. President Goodluck Jonathan has warned his ministers and officials to resign if they want to participate in the politics of 2015 and some have complied. This disciplined approach to governance is to ensure the administration’s focus is not derailed or dimmed by early politicking for 2015.
It is however pertinent to note that this is the first time a sitting President would restrict politicking to a specific period to allow the government-in-power to concentrate on governance without much distraction. In previous civilian regimes politics and campaigns for the next election take off immediately the government in-power is sworn in, especially when the incumbent president is contesting the next election. And this is the one of the disadvantages of the double tenure system as against the 6 years single tenure which President Goodluck Jonathan proposed in 2011. This fine proposal was killed by the National Assembly especially the Tambuwal-led House of Representatives which attacks with the ferocity of a starved lion any proposal or bill originating from the presidency.
The anti Jonathan plot is thickening by the day just as the Jonathan administration is scoring very high in areas of the economy, infrastructures, security, education and good governance.
But all the plots of the opposition will crumble like a pack of cards because it is the people who will elect their President not Tambuwal and definitely not the new messiah of south west politics. And of course not Prof Ango Abdullai, the new chairman of the Northern Elders Forum who just last week threatened that the North will not accept President Goodluck Jonathan as their President in 2015. I did not expect anything less from the Prof who has for long been sidelined in Northern Politics and only ascended into his political eldorado recently.
However it is frantically unfortunate that the learned professor has never commented on the critical lack of education or even total lack of education in Northern Nigeria. About a forthright ago the Director General of the Nigerian Teachers Institute (NTI), Kaduna, Dr. Aminu Ladan Sharehu shocked the nation when he said less than 20% of teachers in the North are qualified to teach. This means more than 80% of teachers in the North are themselves illiterates with mainly certificates in Islamic Studies. If this woeful educational imbalance is allowed to fester it will not be too far from now when the effect of such ignorance and illiteracy will manifest into anger and violence that will obliterate the Nation called Nigeria. Professor Ango Abdullai and his gang of professional politicians should bury their heads in shame and plan proactively to reverse this poignant and dangerous trend of ignorance which has reached a fatally critical level. After all Aristotle and Horace Mann said respectively “Educated men are as much superior to uneducated men as the living are to the dead” and that a “Human being is not in any proper sense a human being until he is educated”
The figures on education in the North are mind boggling. Before the boko haram insurgency 10 million school age children were already out of school in Northern Nigeria alone. With the recent wanton wastage of the lives of pupils/students in Yobe States and other boko haram states in the North, the withdrawal from school will almost double.
In 2010 Adamu Ciroma and his co-horts tried all the tricks in their political lexicon but President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan won in all the geopolitical zones including Katsina State which is the home state of his main opponent. In 2010, so many associations and fora sprang up to defeat GEJ but they all failed because of the pull and allure of President Goodluck Jonathan’s promises and candidacy. And today Nigeria is better for it as GEJ is on course in his efforts to bring Nigeria out of the woods. A critical look at the President’s transformation program showed that out of the 14 points program the president had already achieved reverberating success in 8 of them and on course in the remaining 6 points.
Let us take a brief look at the economy-Nigeria’s economy like all other economies of the world cannot escape the challenges and the woes of the global economic crises. Even the worlds 3 biggest economies, USA, China and Japan battle with their own difficult peculiarities. Even China which plans to topple American monopoly of the numero Uno Spot in 2023 has its own peculiar problems. In its figures for the 2nd quarter, China recorded just over 7% growth which is less than the experts projection.
Inspite of these challenges Nigeria has fared very well under President Goodluck Jonathan: Our GDP has recorded encouraging growth and this has stabilized our exchange rate at between N150 to N160 per dollar for a long period of time. In May 2011 our inflation rate was 12.4 percent but today it is about 9.1%. The domino effect of this on the economy is inestimable.
Our external reserve also rose from $38.08 Bn in May 2011 to #48.4BN in May 2013. Our External Crude Account (ECA) also rose from $4BN in May 2011 to $9BN in December 2012 and in May 2013 we recorded $6BN. This is because our projected crude oil production fell from the 2.53 million bdp to between 2.1 and 2.2mn bpd. Government annual borrowing was also drastically reduced from N852 BN in 2011 to N588 BN in May 2013.
The Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration is assiduously working to earn international trust and confidence and this has made Nigeria the highest foreign investment destination in Africa with a whooping $7BN Foreign Direct Investment. Many foreign investors have openly praised the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration due to his transparence and absence of covert and personal pre-agreement conditionalities and kickbacks as in some previous regimes.
The administration has added more kudos to its strings of achievements in the area of agriculture by blocking some loopholes in the procurement and distribution of fertilizers. Gone are the days when top officials of government and fertilizer distribution parastatals became billionaires overnight without any query from former conniving presidents.. we now have a fairly diversified economy with our non-oil sector increasing export from 9% in 2008 to 31% in 2012.
In 2008 our total oil export was 91% of total export making it a mono-commodity economy but today total oil export is now 69% of total export while non-oil export is for the 1st time since the 1970s hitting 31%. The administrations stride in food production like cassava, wheat and rice has been phenomenal. The Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration has moved the nation just one step to food self-sufficiency and this has moved the people out of poverty.
In the areas of rail and road transportation the Jonathan administration has achieved political, cultural and mental demystifications. These were infrastructural facilities that were already pronounced DEAD, but the President Goodluck Jonathan administration has resuscitated them to the glory of God.
For the past 30 years our railway system has been between comatose and DEAD but because of his love for this naturally blessed and endowed nation, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan performed the rail miracle. In December 2012 he flagged off and reinstated the Lagos/Kano rail link in the western rail corridor and in May 2013 he commissioned the Abuja/Kaduna rail link. Also intracity rail services are now fully operational in Lagos, Kano and Kaduna.
The impact of the re-invigoration of the rail system on the economy his another plus for the Goodluck Jonathan administration. Food prices will reduce and Nigerians now travel more comfortably and cheaper too. The rail system will also convey those heavy equipment like machinery, steel, cements etc. whose transportation has had a negative effect on our roads.
In the road sector government has made Nigerians very proud with the refurbishment of the Lagos-Ore-Benin Road, Kano-Maiduguri Road, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Road. Even most of the eastern roads which were hitherto gullies of death traps are now pleasurably motorable. The much publicized East-West trans state road linking the West to the East is also progressing as planned.
For his love for Nigerians, President Goodluck Jonathan wants the best for Nigerians, and he is right on track. Let us also remember that the President is one of us. He does not have the traditional power base of Nigeria’s power brokers. His father was a local community leader and a canoe builder. When choosing his minister he did not go begging to Nigeria’s politically established families to release one of their sons or daughters for ministerial or ambassadorial appointments to maintain the status quo.
This president has been focused ab-initio but with great challenges from Aminu Tambuwal and his opposition team.
Petrol queues have vanished. The usually quarterly deregulation tango is now a thing of the past.
Electricity even with its external sabotage by loyalist of past presidents has improved tremendously. And the President is not losing focus as electricity will be one of his greatest legacies.
Most Nigerians are highly impressed by the President’s handling of the boko haram issue. A few critics have lambasted the President for handling the boko haram issue with kid gloves instead of using the bulldozer approach which leveled Odi in Nov. 20, 1999. But even the most powerful military leader will find it almost impossible to bulldoze Yobe, Borno, Adamawa and Kano states to flush out boko haram.
Is it not however encouraging to note that inspite of boko haram and our security challenges, Nigeria is still the preferred destination of foreign investors with a foreign direct investment of $7BN in 2012.
Despite this new spring of life in Nigerians, why does the North and the opposition rage against President Goodluck Jonathan.
Northern Nigeria has its own special programme for Nigeria-to permanently govern Nigeria while southern Nigeria plays the underdog permanently. Chief Obafemi Awolowo almost single-handedly fought against this obnoxious monopoly of power but he did not get the support of the then Eastern States which played the beautiful bride even as late as 1979. But today the situation has reversed itself. While the Old Eastern States are fighting for equity in governance the now “nouveau riche” leaders in the south west are fighting to become permanent political underdogs as the new leaders in the southwest have jettisoned the imperishable Awolowo Legacy.
The North has never hidden its disdain for the right of southerners to govern this country since amalgamation in 1914 and self-government rule in 1957 when Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa became Nigeria’s first Prime Minister-ala the incredibly fictional census conducted by the colonial masters. From 1957, the North ruled Nigeria till 1999 apart from Gen. Obasanjo’s 3 years military rule. The North after ruling for 38 years now felt very sorry for the south and openly ceded power to the South West due to Gen. Obasanjo’s support for President Shehu Shagari in the 1983 122/3 saga that finally nailed Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s ambition to make Nigeria a nation to be reckoned with in the comity of advanced nations. And so the North has ruled Nigeria for 41 years while the south in 2013 has ruled for 15 years from 1957.
Boko haram was rehabilitated and refurbished by northern leaders to intimidate, embarrass and scare President Goodluck Jonathan from governing Nigeria because he is a minority President. The North should think of ways of educating its citizenry and support Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s educational programme for the Almajiri’s. The North will still vote Goodluck Ebele Jonathan into power inspite of the Ango Abdullais and the now sidelined Adamu Ciromas.
President Goodluck Jonathan may not be a strong, military, bulldozing president but nothing will deprive him of his constitutional right to contest the 2015 presidential election.
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan may be humble and humanitarian in nature but he is genetically engineered by that never-yielding Izon gene that makes him stand where others buckle, fight when there is need to, display the universally acknowledged Izon generosity when the need arises.
As an Izon, he was brought up in a stormy and sometimes violent oceanic environment and he survived it all. President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s story until this moment is a story of survival amidst insurmountable odds.
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan will run for the Presidency in 2015 and there will be no “shaking” about this by the special grace of GOD.
SO RUN JONATHAN RUN
Despite President Jonathan's claim of excellent performance in the regime's mid-term report, the unanswered question remains: are Nigerians better off today than they were when he came in? Vincent Obia writes
The last one week has seen a vigorous debate in the media on President Goodluck Jonathan's mid-term report on the execution of his "Transformation Agenda." Jonathan delivered the report on Democracy Day with a vibrant - almost haughty - tone that reflected the thinking within the government. But outside the government, especially, among the masses, it is virtually impossible to find anyone who will confess that they have witnessed changes that are anywhere near the bright picture the president had painted. The reason is obvious.
When Jonathan was inaugurated in 2011, he rolled out a transformation agenda he said was designed to tackle some core problems, including unemployment and poverty, rising debt profile - especially domestic debts, high recurrent over capital expenditure, over-dependence on oil, inflation, infrastructure and housing deficit, falling external reserves, and food insecurity. Two years on, those problems remain largely unresolved.
The country's annual budget is still markedly skewed in favour of recurrent expenditure. For instance, in the 2013 budget, nearly 70 percent of the total funds are earmarked for recurrent expenditure, against about 30 percent for capital expenditure.
Budget accountability remains a problem. The federal government has seemed to adopt a policy of keeping oil price benchmarks low to accommodate the vagaries of the international pricing system. But even though the feared shortfalls in prices have hardly occurred in recent years, leaving the country with huge excess crude oil revenues, the extra income has mainly been consumed in recurrent expenditure or used to cover deficits that experts say are needless. Last year, the federal government made borrowings to cover a deficit of between N700 billion and N800 billion in the budget, despite the fact that oil prices hovered between $90 and $115 per barrel, against the budgeted benchmark of $72.
The above situation has caused a needless accumulation of debts. Nigeria had risen to become the biggest recipient of disbursements from the International Development Association between 2009 and 2012. The country is also said to have the biggest outstanding IDA portfolio in Africa.
The IDA is an international financial institution under the World Bank Group that offers concessional loans and grants to the world's poorest developing countries. Though, Nigeria remains comfortably within the internationally accepted 40 per cent debt/Gross Domestic Product ratio and the 25 per cent country specific threshold for debt stock levels, experts doubt if the country really belongs to the class of countries the IDA funds are meant for, judging by its huge surplus earnings from oil.
The mid-term report stated that the government's annual borrowing had fallen from N852 billion in 2011 to N588 billion in 2013. This amount could double before the end of the year. But the unanswered question remains: are Nigerians better off today than they were when Jonathan took over?
Only last December, Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Lamido Sanusi, lamented that the country was borrowing too much and heaping up a heavy debt burden for future generations.
The national debt comprises mainly government bonds and treasury bills. The government makes these borrowings from banks at exorbitant rates, which creates a disincentive for lending to the real sector. Experts say economic productivity would hardly be encouraged at the present lending interest rate of between 15 and 20 percent.
In the power sector, which experts describe as the main engine of growth, with a population of nearly 200 million, Nigeria only managed to leap from about 2, 000 megawatts, when Jonathan came in 2011, to just over 4, 000 megawatts. This represents an improvement, but it is one that is too infinitesimal for a country that aspires to be among the world's 20 largest economies by 2020.
Besides, Nigeria's electricity production puts it far behind its closest competitors in Africa, like South Africa. With a population of about 50 million people, South Africa produces 34, 000 megawatts of electricity to meet current demands, and this production figure is said to increase every year.
The administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo had laid the basic foundation for power transformation, which many had expected the Jonathan government to take beyond the present state.
Despite marginal improvements, quality and quantity of education remains in shortfall. The Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyatu Rufa'I, disclosed in April that only 520,000 (30%) of the over 1.7 million candidates that wrote this year's Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) could gain admission into the country's universities, polytechnics, and Colleges of Education.
The plight of the education sector may not end soon, what with the 8.7 percent allocation to education in this year's budget - a paltry leap, but a far cry from the United Nations recommended rate of at least 26 percent for developing countries.
The fear in many circles is that things may not get any better in the next two years of the president's tenure, as governance looks set to take a backseat for politics ahead of the 2015 general election.
While no one would contest that that there have been flickers of hope here and there since the last two years, it is obvious that the rate of progress does not call for the kind of pass mark Jonathan awarded his administration in his mid-term report.
The attempt to make the National Youth Council of Nigeria another battlefield for the 2015 politics is very unfortunate. The yoke of partisanship has made it impossible for the NYCN to elect a new leadership after two attempts in Akure and Makurdi. Reports allege that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, working through the Minister of Youth Development, had imposed a candidate on the council even without an election.
While campaigning for the 2011 presidential election, President Goodluck Jonathan found it handy to use the NYCN to reach millions of young people across the country. But no one seemed to complain. However, the current attempt to hijack, corrupt, and reduce the otherwise non-partisan organisation to the crude partisanship that is the lot of Nigerian politics at the moment is evil, to say the least.
Rather than corrupt the youth of the country through undue infiltration of their ranks, the ruling party or, indeed, any serious political party should think of how to groom young people within its fold for future leadership. The African National Congress in South Africa is doing this, and it is the practice in every country in world where the political class is serious-minded.
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has announced a state of emergency in the country's northeast. He said the government would do everything to put an end to the terrorist attacks.
Nigeria put its northeast states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa under a state of emergency amid an increase of terrorist activity from the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram in recent weeks.
"These actions amount to a declaration of war and a deliberate attempt to undermine the authority of the Nigerian state and threaten [its] territorial integrity," said President Jonathan in a live broadcast Tuesday night. "As a responsible government, we will not tolerate this."
The president said the terrorist activities were a "threat to [Nigeria's] national unity" and a "systematic effort" to destabilize the country.
Jonathan ordered troops to help stem the insurgency in the country's northeast where some towns have reportedly fallen under the control of Boko Haram. The state politicians will retain the powers of the offices they hold despite the military deployment to the region.
Boko Haram, whose name means, "Western education is sacrilege," in the Hausa language has been calling for shariah law to be imposed across Nigeria.
Muslims comprise about half of Nigeria's population of 175 million. About 40 percent of its citizens are Christian.
Since launching their insurgency against the central government in 2010, Boko Haram and splinter groups have staged numerous terrorist attacks on security forces and civilians, in which at least 1,600 people were killed.
Late last week, 200 heavily armed gunmen staged a coordinated attack on a police station and prison in Borno state in a bid to free inmates. At least 55 people died in the siege.
kms/msh (AP, AFP, Reuters, dpa)
Source: Deutsche Welle
President Goodluck Jonathan visiting the region at the heart of an Islamist insurgency for the first time since he was elected in 2011, on Thursday rebuffed calls for an amnesty deal for the extremists.
President Goodluck Jonathan’s visit came amid mounting political pressure for him to travel to the region and followed calls this week from Nigeria’s top Islamic figure for an amnesty deal for insurgents.
Jonathan landed in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state and considered the home base of Islamist extremists Boko Haram, and travelled by helicopter to neighbouring Yobe state, also hit by repeated attacks blamed on the group.
Security was tight, with soldiers stationed along roads and movement restricted. He is due to return to Maiduguri later Thursday for a visit that will extend into Friday.
The president said he could not rule out an amnesty deal in the future, but said that it was impossible to negotiate an agreement with Boko Haram because their identities and demands remained unclear.
“You cannot declare amnesty for ghosts,” Jonathan told an audience of politicians and dignitaries in the Yobe state capital Damaturu, broadcast live on national television.
Jonathan made reference to a 2009 amnesty deal for militants in the oil-producing Niger Delta region, where the president is from.
The deal has been credited with greatly reducing unrest in the Niger Delta, but criminality has since flourished, including the theft of crude oil on a massive scale, costing Nigeria an estimated $6 billion per year.
“In the Niger Delta, if you call them, they come and they will tell you their grievances,” he said. “But Boko Haram, I don’t see anybody who says they are Boko Haram.”
The visit came with Jonathan facing political pressure to visit the northeast, wracked by scores of bombings and shootings blamed on Boko Haram. The military has been accused of major abuses in response to the insurgency.
It is also the region where seven members of a French family were believed taken after being kidnapped on February 19 just over the border in Cameroon. They remain held by the abductors and their whereabouts are unknown.
There have been growing calls for Jonathan to visit the area. A group of opposition state governors visited Maiduguri last week, drawing further attention to Jonathan’s absence there.
Jonathan earlier in the day held talks with Yobe governor Ibrahim Geidam and was due to help commission a number of government projects.
Violence linked to Boko Haram’s insurgency in northern and central Nigeria has left some 3,000 people dead since 2009, including killings by the security forces.
The group has claimed to be fighting for an Islamic state in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and largest oil producer, though its demands have repeatedly shifted.
It is believed to include various factions with differing aims, in addition to imitators and criminal gangs who carry out violence under the guise of the group.
Nigeria’s 160 million population is roughly divided between a mainly Muslim north and predominately Christian south. Jonathan, a southern Christian, has been accused by his opponents of neglecting the northeast.
Dear Mr President,
I am writing this piece upon my return from Maiduguri "The Seat of the Kanuris" "Home of Hospitality". Maiduguri, a once bustling town for beehive of commerce: for trader’s en-route to Lake Chad for buying and selling of fish. The only city Othman Dan Fodio could neither conquer nor capture in his jihad conquest. Maiduguri, Nigeria international gateway to Chad [Gamboru Ngala], has suddenly turn into a city that has to go to sleep by 6:00pm.
The once proud Kanuri's has being forced into recluse; the menace of Boko Haram on the economy off Borno State is beyond my permutation. From a political thug created by the former state governor Senator Ali Modu Sheriff 'ECOMOG', this political thug metamorphoses into Africa's second deadliest Islamic sect.
They have virtually turned Maiduguri nay the entire North Eastern part of Nigeria into a no go area. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, despite security warnings dare the Boko Haram enclave, he went, he saw, he dialogue. Your Vice-President Arc Namadi Sambo also briefly visited Maiduguri.
But sir, your Excellency haven't dare to step into Maiduguri [the Boko Haram enclave] to see for yourself the magnitude of human, materials and environmental destruction the Boko Haram has unleashed on the hapless citizens of the North East zone of Nigeria.
2015 presidency is now a ding-dong, if eventually your party [PDP] fielded you and you sail through as the PDP flag-bearer, will you be in Maiduguri for hustling? May be Aso Rock Villa's hillock is shielding your Excellency. It is time, you dare the Boko Haram, visit Maiduguri, your Excellency and behold a once 'Pearl of the Kanuri's' turned to 'Darkness at Noon'.
In raising the American flag on the Japanese Island of Iwojima, by the US Marines, the allied commander General Arthur Mac-Douglas, described Japan's 'kamikaze' divine wind' [the once supposedly invincible wind],as a defeated man made wind!
The sects are not faceless, endure your Excellency and pay a visit to Maiduguri, enough of this annihilation of defenseless and hapless Maiduguri citizens. Senator Alimodu Sheriff is still alive same goes to some senior serving National Assembly members, senior government [federal and state] officials and businessmen who have being indicted for aiding and sponsoring these sects.
In the heat of Iraq war, former US President, George Bush, was in Baghdad. Borno State is part of your constituency and your Excellency should not watch the state reduce to rubles. Maiduguri is at standstill, with fear all over. Commercial activities [especially the internationalfish trading market] are gradually going and have been paralyzed. It is indeed a sad scenario seeing Maiduguri, a once thriving city going under, no thanks to the Boko Haram malaise.
Mr President, you are the last man standing not to have visited Maiduguri [the Boko Haram enclave], your deputy has dared, your visit may and hopefully calm the sects. Mahatma Gandhi was quoted as saying at his ashram to Lord Irwin "when your country and mine shall get together on the teachings laid down by Christ in his Sermon on the Mount, we shall have solved the problems not only of our country but those of the whole world".
Mr President, try Mahatma Gandhi's ashram meeting with Lord Irwin and visit the Boko Haram, dare them!
Enough of these wanton killings and destruction!
Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi.
Country Representative; Whisper Poetry.
Cells:+234  812-148-2077.
+234  816-950-3218.