President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday, February 19, 2015 pledged that Boko Haram terror group will be considerably curbed in the next three weeks so as to ensure a safe conduct of the rescheduled general election.
He made the promise while addressing members of the Yoruba Council of Elders Council (YCE), a pan-Yoruba group made up of men above 60 years and women above 50 years which cuts across, religion, political and professional divide at the State House in Marina, Lagos.
President Jonathan said:
There has to be a country before any one nurses aspiration to be in government,
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.
My position is that let us all collectively defend and protect this country and that is why I always feel bad when people make statements that expose Nigeria as if it is the worst country on earth.
We are not that bad.
Yes, we have issues in this country. Even issues of security, like this Boko Haram, because we are managing a very delicate situation.
Sometimes people define Nigeria by the Boko Haram.
Nigeria cannot be defined based on Boko Haram alone. There is terror all over the world.
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 that the movement, we don’t want to say much, 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, 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 further availed that his administration has seen prices of food remain stable, just as the health sector received considerable boost.
Highlighting certain achievements in the health sector, President Jonathan said the his administration had completely gotten rid of polio in Nigeria,adding that the World Heath organisation (WHO) would declare the country polio-free by the end of the year.
Mr. President further added that his administration also chased out the deadly Ebola by pulling all the states together.
While thanking the YCE for the support the group had accorded his administration, President Jonathan said if reelected, his administration would do more to carry the people along in its programmes as it would commence a quarterly meeting with the six geo-political zones.
We have not reached where we want but we have gone far
Speaking earlier, a retired general and President of YCE, commended President Jonathan and his administration for exemplary leadership.
Your Excellency, our great president, we don’t need to waste any time today. We have introduced ourselves to you.
We know you very well and we know the elders on the high table. We are pleased that we are here today to see you face to face and to thank God for what you are doing for the country and we hope all will be well for the country.
We do not need to talk too much. Our clock is going on. We want to talk about what we want for the country and the future.
What we want is good leadership with peace and love for the generation of our great country and for good leadership for a great country in future.