I Will Not Run Nigeria Like A Zoo, Says Jonathan

imagePresident Goodluck Jonathan says he will govern Nigerians in a manner that protects their freedom, if re-elected, rather than promote an atmosphere of intimidation similar to what operates in a typical zoo. The president was speaking in Ilorin, capital of Kwara state, in continuation of the nationwide presidential campaign rallies of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ahead of next month’s election. Listing his achievements in the outgoing tenure, he said he had done so much in terms of road infrastructure, agriculture, and small and medium scale enterprise. “Of course, the trains are working; you no longer look at them from the concept of cartoons on your television screens. There is intervention in power, the health sector, education; but one thing that I must emphasise, even though it has been mentioned, is the area of agriculture and micro small and medium scale enterprises, because the people of Kwara are very hard working people, very enterprising people – a people who, if you give a viable environment, would be able to create wealth for themselves. That is why this administration is taking Agriculture to a different level,” he said. “We are no longer talking about agriculture as a rural development programme, but agriculture as a means of creating wealth, agriculture as a means of creating millionaires, agriculture as a means of creating billionaires, and there are so many people from Kwara state that fit into that our programme. These are the future millionaires and billionaires that would run the economy of this country. “Also in the micro, small and medium scale enterprises, we are working very hard with the central bank. Monies are going to be released, so we have people who are in that sector. In fact, when they talk about Asian tigers what makes them great is not the major industries; it is micro industries and medium scale enterprises. We are working very hard to make sure that we encourage SMEs in Kwara state, encourage SMEs in Nigeria, so that people from this great nation would be able to create wealth for themselves. “That is why we brought the concept of the YOUWIN, because we believe that our young people should not just be carrying their certificate to look for job, but they themselves should be creating jobs for others. And it is working. So many young boys and girls from Kwara state have benefitted and many more would benefit. All what you have to do is to work with us and ensure we take you to where we want to be.” He described Kwara as a state that has created quite a number of leaders in different fields. “In terms religion, you talk about Oyedepo, from this state, who has built two private universities. In fact, even in terms of Islamic affairs, you have Imam Ahmed, one of our great Islamic brothers, so this state has produced both Christian scholars and Muslim scholars in terms of the leadership of this country. You have produced very committed political leaders. “My message today is not what we have done per se or what we will even do, but the fact that we will want to work with you to make sure that Nigerians are free. We don’t want to run a government where we have to be governed by intimidation. No. I signed the freedom of information bill that every Nigerian would be free. “We want you to have the ability of expressing yourself without fear of intimidation. We don’t want to encourage a situation where leaders would intimidate the governed, where people will live as if we are in a Zoo, and the lions and the leopards are moving freely, and the lambs and the goats have to go into hiding, no. Nigeria is not a Zoological garden; Nigeria is not a forest. “Nigeria is a country that would be governed by laws and consensus. Nigeria is a country where the citizens would be free, a country that the young people will have the opportunity to go to any level we want to reach and we are going to work with you my great youths, my great women and children of Kwara. This is a state that has been endowed with so much; you have human carriage, natural resources; you have forests for farming, and we must work with you to generate the kind of developmental issues that would transform this country, transform this state.” Jonathan also harped on the prospects of the country’s economy under his reign for another four years, saying: “Our economy, some people are talking about they want to do or whatever they want to do with the economy. Economy that you all heard that after the rebasing, the economy is the largest in Africa. “We did not get there by chance; we worked with the private sector. This is the same government that has an economic management team made up of people in government, the policy makers, the regulators, and the private sector and for all these four years, both the ministers, the regulator have been working day and night and that is why the economy is the largest in Africa. “It was CNN few days ago that announced that Nigeria and two other countries are the focus where the economy would continue to grow. So if CNN can say that, who in Nigeria, who is the economist in Nigeria that can say what the world has said [is not true]. Who is the economist in Nigeria that can tell me that he is superior to the world bank or the economists in the world bank? Who is the economist that can tell me that he has a better focus than the CNN? We are working hard to change this country and move forward, and move forward the people of Kwara state.”

Via The Cable

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