President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, January 6, 2015 inaugurated the Goodluck/Sambo 2015 Presidential Campaign Organization at the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Office, Legacy House, Maitama, Abuja.
President Jonathan used to opportunity to remind Nigerians why he deserves a second term, reiterating the gains the country has experienced during his administration, which has seen the country emerge as the largest economy in Africa.
He also spoke on the achievements of past regimes before him, promising to expose the failures of past administrations by revealing to Nigerians what has been done by his government which would eclipse that of any leader, whose reign he said stunted the growth of the country.
The President also took time to assure Nigerians of his resolve to conduct a free, fair and unbiased election in the forthcoming polls.
While inaugurating the campaign team, President Jonathan cautioned those who have been selected to run his campaign to campaign within the tenets of the law, urging them to maintain the highest level of civility and decorum.
Read excerpts of President Jonathan’s speech below:
“When we start campaigns, we will confront them with what we have done as a government, we will tell them what they did not do when they were heads of state. Some people want to still keep these children as shoe cleaners, we must lift them up. Our children should not be used as cannon folders. They should be allowed to move forward to be governors like us.
“We have everything it takes to run an excellent and victorious campaign. Our great party has demonstrated to Nigerians that it is the party with the broadest appeal. We are the strongest and the biggest. We have engaged the people of Nigeria positively with people-friendly policies, which have moved Nigeria forward.”
“We have sustained the democratic tradition. We have strengthened democratic institutions. We inherited a rather complex security challenge but we are waging a determined war against it. We are succeeding in preventing terrorists and insurgents from turning more of our communities into enclaves for their dastardly activities.
“We remain fully committed to further empowering the security agencies to enable them win the war against terror. We have proven to the people that we are a party and a team that they can rely upon.
“In the last four years, despite the security challenges we have had to contend with, Nigeria, under our watch, has made significant strides in every aspect. Our economy today is the largest and the strongest in the African continent, and a preferred destination for foreign direct investment.
“We have focused on job creation and the expansion of opportunities for our teeming youth as well as interventions to promote Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. Through an internationally acclaimed transformational agricultural programme, we have re-established agriculture as a business, and a major driver of economic growth.
“Today, not only is the agricultural sector thriving, the value chains in the sector have been activated and have become productive. The country’s food import bill has been reduced, and the non-oil sector has witnessed significant growth.
“We have expanded access to education by providing schools and facilities at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Today, there is a Federal University in every state of the Federation, and every Nigerian child has been given the opportunity to go to school.
“We have successfully privatized the power sector, a process that was adjudged by the international community of investors as transparent and credible. Our trains are moving again, from Lagos to Kano, from Lagos to Ibadan, from Port Harcourt to Enugu.
“I am not campaigning to you who are already convinced. I have no doubt that you are all familiar with the achievements of this administration. But I have outlined a few of them to show that we are in a solid position to run a campaign based on our commendable record. Our creditable performance in the past four years should be our strongest selling point as we go to the campaign fields.
“Flaunt our achievements in all parts of the country, tell the story of what we have achieved and let the facts and the figures be heard in every nook and cranny of Nigeria.”
“You have all been invited to serve our great party in this capacity, in recognition of your loyalty, dedication, commitment to the democratic cause, and your outstanding individual talents.
“I am fully convinced that not only are you up to the task individually or as a team, but that you also have all that it takes- the passion, intellect, drive, commitment, and the know-how to run a focused, robust and purposeful campaign that will further endear our ticket to the electorate and bring us victory once again.
“As we embark formally on the campaigns for our re-election, our party, the People’s Democratic Party will depend on you. I am also personally counting on you. I ask you to take on this assignment for your great party, for Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo, and also, more importantly, for the country as a whole.
“Without doubt, the forthcoming elections mark a critical point in our nation’s history. The eyes of the international community are focused on the transition that lies ahead of us; the fifth post-military rule general elections that will be conducted under a civilian dispensation in Nigeria.
“The world is asking: Will Nigeria get it right? My categorical response to that is: Yes, we must. And surely, we will. It is your duty to ensure that through your campaigns, and activities, this primary objective is not lost.
“Our commitment to free, fair, credible, and violence-free elections remains unshaken. That should also be your commitment as we go to the field to seek the people’s mandate once again.
“You must always remember that we are a party of democrats, not a party of hooligans. We are a party of patriots, not a party of renegades. We are a party of statesmen and women. We are a party of builders, not destroyers. We are a party of committed servants of the people. You must let our people see once again, that we are in this to serve and to move Nigeria forward, not to move Nigeria backwards.
“In the coming campaigns and elections, we must see to it that Nigeria triumphs, and that democracy wins. No other cause can be greater than the Nigerian cause. Without Nigeria, there will be no President.
“We have an obligation to consolidate our democracy, strengthen our institutions and project Nigeria positively by running a disciplined, issues-based and civilized campaign. That is my charge to you all.
“I am especially inspired by the positive energy, the optimism, and the enthusiasm among our party leaders and members. There may be issues arising from the party primaries, which have led to some of our members expressing grievances. But this is the time for all of us to come together and work as one family. At the end of the day, every one of us will be useful in one way or the other.
“In doing this, you must be civil, decorous and law-abiding. I have repeatedly promised Nigerians and the international community that as much as it lies within our powers, the coming general elections will be free, fair, credible and violence-free. I made that pledge with all seriousness and I fully intend to fulfil it.
“As agents of the ruling party, all eyes will be on you during the campaign and elections. I, therefore, expect nothing but the highest standards of exemplary conduct from you as your worthy contribution to the fulfilment of our pledge of peaceful and successful elections.
“Some other politicians and campaigners are threatening fire and brimstone. Do not join them. Some other parties are pulling down other people’s posters. That is primitive. Please, do not join them. Every Nigerian must be free to campaign anywhere.
“Thugs, violence and malpractice or rigging must have no place in our campaign and electoral activities. Do not join those who threaten to start fires and turn them into infernos in our country.
“I assure you and all Nigerians that whoever foments trouble before, during and after the elections will be promptly and decisively dealt with according to the law.
“With all our party leaders and members, we are going into this election season to legitimately seek our peoples’ mandate for further service, consolidation and continuity of progress for our country.
“We must place our hope for victory in nothing else but the support and confidence of the great majority of our people, and the blessing of Almighty God. We will ensure that the people’s vote counts and that their will prevails, as it should, in every true democracy.”
“I call on all party members to stand as one in the face of the assignment ahead of us. Losing a party primary should not result in a loss of faith in the party. No election should be a do or die contest. Whatever grievances we have can be resolved within the family and will be resolved. There is a job to be done, and .all loyal members of our great party must play their expected roles.”