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Jonathan vows to pursue all law breakers

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, kicked off his presidential campaign on both a note of good tidings and one of warning: He declared that better days are ahead for Nigerians just as he warned enemies of progress and violators of the law that his administration would pursue law breakers to the ends of the Earth.

A cross section of supporters during the flag-off ceremony of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Presidential Campaign at the Lafia Township Stadium, Lafia Nassarawa State. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida 

President Jonathan also opened a bag of gifts for the people of the North Central geo_political zone, promising to provide them with universities, proper care for communities along the water ways, and construction of a refinery in the zone.

It was a day reminiscent of Jonathan’s presidential declaration at the Eagle Square.

The day also witnessed the handing over of the party’s flag to Senate President David Mark and the seven gubernatorial candidates of the party in the geo_political zone by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP’s Acting National Chairman, Haliru Bello.

The seven gubernatorial candidates were in attendance and they were made up of incumbents from Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Niger and two new candidates from Kogi and Kwara States.

Just before President Jonathan delivered his address, one Shittu Mohammed of the Nigeria Republican Party, NRP, announced that his party and 25 others (making 26), have stepped down from contesting the presidential election and were, by that spirit, endorsing as well as being ready to work for President Jonathan’s victory.  The crowd cheered.

The mammoth crowd at the venue in Lafia started arriving as early as 8.00 a.m. as the state governors in the zone had mobilized effectively for the launching. At 4:15pm, President Jonathan was called to present his address. But he first danced round the area just in front of the podium, acknowledging cheers from the crowd, waving and smiling.

At 4:20 pm, Bello handed over the PDP flag to President Jonathan, saying: “Mr. President, take this flag round Nigeria.”

Jonathan’s address
After acknowledging those in attendance and his wife, President Jonathan said the coming to Lafia was for two purposes.
Jonathan said: “Until you get the flag, you are not yet sure. Today, we have gotten the flag and the flag has been presented to the six PDP governorship candidates in the states. I will not bore you, but it would only be proper for me to greet all Nigerians after receiving the flag.

“There are two key things central to every government in the world. One is the economy of the country.  And for any country to move from third world to first world, the economy is very important.  Unfortunately, an economy is like a farmer who goes to farm and it is not the day you go to the farm that it yields. It takes a while and we believe that all that we are doing for our people would yield.

“At the same time, the destruction of the economy does not start the same day. Unfortunately, those who worked to destroy the economy are coming out to talk about it.  They can not. For you to create wealth you must improve your economy. The twin sister to the economy is security. If there is no security, the economy would not grow well. Security comes first before you can even manage the economy. The two are central. But how do we improve the economy.

“First and foremost, before you talk about the economy, the people must be enlightened via education and we want to improve on it through the almajiri system, through the primary and secondary and university education system. And we are insisting that every state must get one federal university.

“Some of the states are yet to get. We are going to complete it by the second year of this administration. The North Central zone is central and so we are giving two to the North Central, one in Lafia and the other in Kogi. The next thing is power, and for you to change the macro economy, you need power and the power system is improving.

“The next is agriculture and for farmers to get better yield, irrigation is key and that is why we are keen on providing water both for drinking and irrigation. Another is our commitment to the rail system for which we have commenced work. Nasarawa has good deposits of tin and other parts of the North Central are blessed with enormous resources, we would develop them.

“We are also looking at coal development in the area of mining. We are fast_tracking investment in coal. From our next administration, we would look at communities that serve as our catchment area for power supply, that is areas along the waterways.  We will think about these communities.

“Of course you are aware of the refinery we are planning for Kogi. We know we have our security challenges now and the trend in the world would go. For anybody involved in terrorism or bombings, we would pursue you and catch you. This administration will not sweep any crime under the carpet, no matter how big or small. There will be no sacred cows.

“We will not stop investigation until we get you. We are also looking for more superior methods of detecting crime. I am promising you that we would soon put all these behind us”.

VP Namadi Sambo
Earlier, Vice President Namadi Sambo had started by calling Jonathan ‘Mainasara.’
He acknowledged the President’s wife and then his own. He observed all protocols and greeted the Chief Host, the Nasarawa State governor and the other governors present and the party leadership.  He then greeted the members of the party in the North Central Zone.

He thanked the crowd for the mammoth reception and said these were good signs for transformation.
He said: “Today, we’re here to start the next great journey and seeking your support to achieve that.

“Come April, 2011, we shall vote for our dear President, Goodluck Mainasara Ebele Jonathan. I will mention but a few of the things we have done within the very short period our President has been in office for the North Central.

“Education has been put forward by our President to address poverty and he has ensured that every state has a university. Today, Nasarawa has a new university, Kogi has one. There will be refineries and power plants in Kogi and Benue; we are building railway lines and new educational facilities. Why are all these happening, this is because when you look at all the other presidential candidates, Jonathan stands tall because he was a former deputy governor, vice president, acting president and he is going to be our next president

“In addition, he has a Ph.D, he is a scientist and he has me, an architect as deputy who has been designing with him good things for Nigeria. My people in this zone, I can see from your faces that you have decided to vote for us.”

Flag presentation
The Acting National Chairman, Haliru Bello, who acknowledged the roles of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, thanked all for the support given to the party “because the party has a 100 per cent representation in the governorship sphere as well as a preponderance of local government chairmen in the zone.

After handing the governorship candidates their flags, Bello then presented Jonathan with his own flag.
On the podium was Sarah Jubril, the failed PDP presidential aspirant. Shittu Mohamed, of Nigeria Republican Party announced that 26 political parties under a grand alliance have endorsed President Jonathan.
Among the 26 parties in the grand alliance are:

Nigeria Republican Party
Nigerian Peoples Congress
Democratic Peoples Alliance
Advance Congress of Democrats
Peoples Progressive Party
Action Alliance
Mass Movement of Nigeria
Change Advocacy Party of Nigeria

After President Jonathan’s speech, Kwara State Governor, Bukola Saraki and Sarah Jubril, took turns to shake hands with President Jonathan.

This, according to Bello, “was symbolic of the fact that PDP leaders have since the primaries buried the hatchet.


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