President Goodluck Jonathan has said he will open the door for new people, including those who oppose now, to join his administration and serve Nigeria if he finally wins the race to return as the country’s president on March 28.
Likewise, the president has pledged to hunt down the Boko Haram insurgents, whose operations he acknowledged, had caused collateral destruction of lives and property in the North-east in particular.
The president expressed the view in a document that emanated from a meeting he held with Strategy Group, a forum of trusted northerners and southerners on February 14.
As contained in the document, the president said he would inject new blood into his cabinet if re-elected, saying the door “will be open for new people to join me and serve including even those who oppose now.”
The document addressed diverse challenges currently confronting the North at large, citing the scary poverty kid, which it acknowledged, had aggravated the operations of the Boko Haram insurgents.
The document said: “It is true I lost of time in dealing with this problem. This was because I listened to advice to try several tracks and not just the military option. We tried the political and negotiation track.
“It did not work. Now I am going for an all-out assault in conjunction with our neighbouring countries and other helpers. We shall hunt them down so we can provide a more secure future for our citizens in these areas. I thank our courageous men and women in the armed forces for their sacrifice.
“I understand the poverty problem of the North. I see the destruction of lives and property caused by Boko Haram. Once we drive out Boko Haram, I shall personally take charge of a rebuilding programme for the North-east. I have already put instruments in place and will use them.
“I have PINE, Save School Initiative, Greenbelt and Victim Fund among others. I shall use these instruments to improve lives and livelihoods and give our citizens in these areas a better future,” the document said.
The document, also, detailed the feat the Jonathan administration in power sector, noting that his government “has pushed further on power than other government. We have privatised the sector so that new and better owners and managers can help us.
“But I know power has not improved to the extent we want. This is largely due to lack of gas and pipeline vandalisation. My plan is to tackle this through employment of technology to help deter and detect vandals.
“I am also diversifying power sources, already mainly to hydro so we are not dependent on one source. We are building massive dams such as Kashimbila, Zungeru and Mambila to help us. I plan to exploit coal as well.”
It incisively x-rayed the effort of the administration in the fight against corruption, noting that his administration had convicted more corrupt officials than any administration since return to civil rule in 1999.
The document rolled out how the Jonathan administration had been using modern platforms and technology to fight corruption, which it said, reflected in the rating of the Transparency International.
“I am committed to fighting corruption. Contrary to the misinformation you get, this administration has achieved a lot on this front and the Transparency International rating for Nigeria is better now than it was a decade ago. I acknowledge and accept we still need to improve.
“We are far from where we need to be. But we have fought oil subsidy fraud, pension fraud, fertilizer fraud and cleaned these up. We are using technology to build electronic platform to manage our finances and personnel payroll and stop leakages there. This is the way we must go in the future.
“I plan to put in place the institutions and systems to stop leakages. The EFCC has made many more arrests and convictions in this administration than ever before. I respect the rule of law and people are punished if found guilty,” the document quoted the president saying.
Source: This Day