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Jonathan promises equal opportunities for all citizens


ABUJA –  President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday in Abuja said equal opportunities would be given to all citizens in the country regardless of their languages, religion, ethnicity and pedigree to attain their full potentials.

Jonathan said this when a Civil Society Organisation, ‘Save Democracy Group’ (SDG) paid him a courtesy visit.

The Minister of Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Alhaji Kabiru Turaki, received the group on behalf of the president.

“Equal opportunities would be given to men and women without regard to language, religion, pedigree, ethnicity.  More and more people are being given opportunity to attain their potentials in whatever they do.

“In order to rise not only to attain the height they could as individuals but to contribute their quota in whatever to the development of this country.”

He said that for the growth of the nation, changes would have to be made, adding that some citizens find it difficult to accept changes.

“It is important for Nigeria to appreciate that life is dynamic and that in the context of this dynamism, life entails changes which have to be made to improve the society.

“Because we are used to doing things in a particular way, even if the old methods and ways are not the best, we find it difficult to accept changes that are being introduced which in the long run will be in the best interest of the people and the country,” he said.

He appreciated the group for its interest in saving democracy in the country.

“I want to thank you for your patriotism, for your high sense of nationalism and for your love and concern for your fatherland.”

Earlier in his speech, the National Coordinator of SDG, Dr Ifedi Okwenna, said that the group was engaged in sociopolitical advocacy, education and peace building for sustainable democracy in Nigeria.

He said that the coalition consisted over 2,000 organisations drawn from the 36 states of the federation and FCT that were united for the onerous task of saving our democracy.

“As third sector organisations, we are out to stabilise the polity and spread the gospel of politics without bitterness, and to ensure that politicians play politics by the rules.”

Okwenna said the vision of the group was to evolve a united, peaceful and democratic Nigeria guided by the principle of equity, fairness and the rule of law.

“We want political actors to separate politics from governance so that the people of Nigeria will be opportuned to reap the dividends of democracy.

“We are sometimes surprised that some political actors still play politics on such issues as the security and integrity of the nation as well as on the lives and property of fellow Nigerians,” he said.

The National Coordinator said that good governance must be made known to the people for them to note and appreciate the efforts put in attaining it.

He said the group would evolve as a stabilising force to advocate for strict adherence to democratic principles by all participants in the nation’s political space.

Okwenna said that the group, as part of the awareness building, sensitisation and advocacy project, would embark on a `Democracy Walk’ from May 2 in all the six geopolitical zones.

He said the democracy walk would end with a democracy rally and democracy lecture on May 26 in Abuja. (NAN)

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