Lagos, Feb. 19, 2015 (NAN) President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday appealed to politicians to do all they could to preserve the country’s unity.
The president made the appeal when he received the Yoruba Council of Elders Council (YCE) at the State House, Marina, Lagos.
According to him, there has to be a country before any one nurses aspiration to be in governance
“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.’’
The president said that his administration had put measures in place to improve the lots of Nigerians and make the future brighter.
He said that in spite of the challenges in the country, food prices had remained stable while the health sector received a great boost.
Jonathan said that the administration had eradicated polio and that WHO would declare the country polio free by the end of the year.
He said the administration showed leadership by pulling all the states together to battle the Ebola virus disease outbreak.
The president said that his administration would carry the people along in all its programmes and would commence a quarterly meeting with the six geo-political zones, if re-elected to further move the grassroots forward.
Jonathan thanked the YCE for their support to his administration and urged them to stand by him during the election.
“We have not reached where we want but we have gone far,’’ he said.
Earlier, the President of YCE, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd.) had commended the Jonathan’s administration for offering good leadership to the country.
“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.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the YCE is made up of men above 60 years and women above 50 years from the Yoruba race and cuts across religious, professional and political divides.(NAN)