President Goodluck Jonathan has once again assured Nigerians of the government’s commitment to ending terrorist activities in the nation’s north-east, promising that the “terrorists will not get away with their atrocities”.
In a New Year broadcast on Thursday, the President said the terrorists would be routed and that the government would give all necessary assistance to security agencies in their counter-terrorism operations.
He said: “As President, I feel the pain of all affected communities and families. I hear their cries and share their sorrow and pain.
“We will not forget; we will not look the other way. We have done a lot of painstaking planning and work to resolve the current security challenge. We will bring justice to the savage terrorists known as Boko Haram.
“They will be defeated.
“We are re-equipping and re-positioning our armed forces to enhance their capacity to win the ongoing war against terror and insurgency,” the president and Commander-in-Chief of our Armed Forces said.
He expressed regrets over the pains and agony that the terrorist group had unleashed on Nigerians and further condemned the acts of terror in the north.
“They have made widows of our mothers and sisters and orphans of our children. They have shut down businesses, desecrated places of worship and brought untold hardship to both men and women. They have violated the culture and peaceful way of life in our country, which took generations to build.”
One Man, One Vote
He further pledged his administration’s commitment to ensuring that the 2015 general elections were free, fair and credible, emphasising that the successful conclusion of the elections would further strengthen the nation’s democratic institutions and place Nigeria even more firmly in the comity of truly democratic nations.
“Given the challenges that have characterised some previous electoral contests in our country, the eyes of the world will certainly be on the conduct and outcome of our fifth post-military rule general elections.
“I reassure all Nigerians and the international community of our firm commitment to free, fair and credible elections. My commitment to free elections and one man, one vote remains unwavering.
“Our administration has worked hard in previous elections to prepare all key stakeholders including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies and the electorate optimally, to ensure a progressively improved electoral process in the country under my watch. We will continue to do so for the coming elections.
“We will continue to provide adequate funding to INEC and maintain the Commission’s independence and isolate it from any form of interference or meddling in its day-to-day affairs. This shall continue to guarantee its impartiality and ability to conduct more credible and acceptable elections.
“National security agencies will also be given all necessary support to enhance their ability to ensure that the elections are peaceful and violence-free. The Nigeria Police has already established an Elections Security Planning and Monitoring Unit,” President Jonathan said.
He sought the cooperation of all law-abiding citizens, which he said would help in actualising the desired peaceful and violence-free election.
President Jonathan further stressed that no political ambition of any politician was worth the blood of any of Nigerian, pointing out that the improvement of their lives and living conditions should be the primary motive and the driving force of any quest for political power and leadership positions.
“Let us not promote sectionalism, disunity, intolerance, hate, falsehood or the malicious abuse of political opponents. Whatever we feel or seek, we must have a nation and a people before we can dream of political ambitions. Let us put the nation and the people first.
“Let us all conduct our electoral campaigns with the highest possible decorum and civility towards political opponents.”
He urged Nigerians to give the Independent National Electoral Commission the fullest possible support and cooperation it requires to conduct credible and violence-free elections in 2015.
Renewed Zeal And Patriotism
The President further listed some of the achievements of his administration which he said bore testimony of a commitment to delivering good governance.
The rehabilitation and expansion of rail transportation network, successful privatisation of the power generation and distribution, significant reform and increased local participation in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry, and improved nationwide access to potable water from 57% in 2010, to 70% at present were some of the achievements of his administration that he listed.
“We have also made significant progress in improving access to primary, secondary and tertiary education by building and equipping more schools, including special Almajiri schools, and establishing additional universities to ensure that each state of the nation now has at least one Federal University.
“Our national economy maintained a steady growth rate of close to seven per cent in the past four years and millions of fresh employment opportunities were created for our people as a direct consequence.
“Recently, we launched the Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP) and the $100 million dollars Government and Donor Fund for Agriculture Finance in Nigeria (FAFIN) to fast-track the positive transformation of our agricultural sector.
“The Youth Employment in Agriculture Programme (YEAP) targets 750, 000 market-oriented young agricultural producers while the $100 million dollars Fund is to provide affordable long-term financing to support the development of small and medium agribusinesses in the country.”
President Jonathan also urged Nigerians to enter the New Year with renewed zeal and patriotism, to serve Nigeria with love, honesty, faithfulness and hope for a greater tomorrow.
He maintained that none of the challenges before the nation was insurmountable and asked Nigerians to work with single-minded unity of purpose to overcome them.
“I greet and felicitate with you all as we enter the New Year today. As we mark the beginning of this New Year, 2015, a new nation is being born. A new nation is being born because of the foundations we have all laid, working together for the good and progress of our dear fatherland.”
Source: Channels TV