President Goodluck Jonathan has openly protested against those who sometimes define Nigeria with the Boko Haram insurgency, saying: “Nigeria cannot be defined based on Boko Haram alone. There is terror all over the world.”
President Jonathan who addressed members of the Yoruba Elders Council (YCE) in the State House, Marina, Lagos today said that he always feels bad when people make statements that expose Nigeria as if it is the worst country on earth, adding: “we are not that bad. My position is that let us all collectively defend and protect this country.
“Yes, we have issues in this country. Even issues of security, like this Boko Haram, because we are managing a very delicate situation.
“We have unfair share of the terror. But luckily with what is happening now, I tell people that in the next two to three weeks, this story will change, because we have got the equipment that we can withstand the excesses of the Boko Haram.
“That is why these few days you will see more of the movement. We don’t want to say much. It is going on gradually.
“My belief is that in the next three weeks or so, if we don’t completely take over all our territories (from Boko Haram), we would have handled the Boko Haram to the extent that it will no longer be a problem to the elections that will come up.”
President Jonathan yesterday called on the politicians to put the country’s unity and stability ahead of their political ambitions, saying that for anyone to aspire to become president, Vice President or governor, there must be a country.
“No matter what we want to do, that is those of us who are aspiring to run this country or even at the state level, first and foremost, you must have a country.
“If we don’t have a country, there will be no office to hold; whether it is the office of the President or office of the Vice President or office of the minister or whatever office, there must be Nigeria first.”
The President said that his administration had put measures in place to improve the country, adding that under his watch, Nigeria was pronounced the largest economy in Africa and the preferred destination for Foreign Direct Investment.
He said that in spite of the challenges in the country, food prices had remained stable while the health sector received a great boost.
He said that the administration had eradicated guinea worm, adding that the World Health Organization (WHO), will soon declare the country polio- free.
Jonathan said that his administration showed leadership by pulling all the states together to battle the Ebola virus disease outbreak.
He promised to carry the elders along in all his programmes and would commence a quarterly meeting with the six geo-political zones if he is re-elected in the March 28 poll.
Speaking earlier, the President of YCE, General Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd) commended the President for the quality of leadership he is providing for the country even as he prayed that the country hold violence free general elections. [myad]