President Goodluck Jonathan has formally declared his intention to run for a second term of office at the 2015 General elections.
“After seeking the face of God and quiet reflection with my Family…I Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, has accepted to present myself for the contest for the 2015 general elections,” Jonathan announced to a cheering crowd of supporters in Abuja today.
It was an event that many loyalists of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, looked forward to.
While the President declared his intention to contest the 2015 presidential elections, the city of Abuja was literally locked down as all roads leading to the Eagles Square, venue of the declaration were jam-packed.
Jonathan, who arrived the declaration venue in the company of his wife, Patience Jonathan, and PDP governors, used the event to give an insight into the achievements of his administration in the past four years.
He also spoke on what he hopes to achieve if given the second term mandate in the February 2015 general elections.
The President who also expressed regrets over the killing of some 47 students of Government Science Secondary School, Yobe State, said his administration would do all within its power to crush the Islamist Boko Haram group.
We will free our daughters (Chibok girls) and defeat terrorism. We are equipping the armed forces and deploying special forces to engage the terrorist and end this senseless war. We must protect our country. We must save our people. I will do everything humanly possible to end this criminal violence in our Nation, Jonathan assured.
He went further to state that in order to make lives worth living in areas affected by the evil perpetrated by the Islamist sect, his government has put certain programmes in place which include the Presidential Initiative for the North East; the Victim Support Fund as well as the Safe School Initiative.
Jonathan explained that the Presidential Initiative for the Northeast is focused on improving infrastructure and economic growth in the region and the Safe School Initiative is centred on creating a safe environment to encourage children in the communities to acquire education while the Victim Support Fund, which is in partnership with the private sector, has already raised about N60 billion to help empower and rehabilitate victims of terror.
I promise the victims of these dastardly acts that we will continue to stand with you,” Jonathan said.
Though the President admitted that terrorism constitutes a major challenge to his government, he however maintained that his administration has achieved a lot, good enough to make Nigerians vote for him.
Besides his claim that his government has eliminated long queues at filling stations across the country through consistent provision of petroleum products to Nigerians, he also said the private sector is investing billions of naira in the petro chemical sector as a result of his government’s business-friendly policies.
In response to the call by some stakeholders that the country should diversify its economy rather than depend solely on oil, the president said his administration has revolutionised the agricultural sector to the point that farmers get what they need for effective farming.
“We ended the case of corruption in the fertiliser and seed supply chain,” he said. According to the President, about 14 million farmers, out of which two million are women, have accessed fertiliser through the e-wallet system introduced by his government.
While encouraging Nigerian youths to embrace farming, the President who stated that the Dangote group has invested one billion dollars on rice production in the country, expressed hope that in the next five years, Nigeria will become a net exporter of Rice.”
On the issue of power generation in the country, which has been variously described as epileptic, President Jonathan maintained that his administration has done well in the poser sector.
He said his government has pursued the power sector reform to “an irreversible progress,” adding that additional hydro power stations were being built in Zungeru, Niger State and Manbila, Taraba State to ensure increased power supply.
Jonathan, who said he has released N60bn for the Africa green project added that tremendous progress has been made with 37 new dams built.
He added that the various interventions in the irrigation sub sector has yielded about N45 billion revenue for the country.
In the transport sector, he enumerated the various steps his administration has taken to ensure the revival of the nations rail transport system.
“Very soon, people can stay in Kaduna and work in Abuja with the completion of the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge,” the President said.
As he declares his readiness to contest the presidential election next year, Jonathan has called on Nigerians to give him support so that he could do more for the country.
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