JONATHAN OPENS FACEBOOK ACCOUNT
President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, tacitly revealed his intention to contest the 2011 presidential election, saying he would set up a Facebook account for the poll.
The proposed account, he said, is 'part of my contribution to the (election) debate' and that it would focus primarily on the exchange of ideas.
Facebook is a popular social network interactive site with millions of subscribers globally.
Jonathan, who spoke at the 26th Convocation of the University of Port Harcourt, on the second day of his visit to Rivers State, also harped on the urgent need for national transformation and harnessing of the unchallengeable power and good in the Nigerian youth. He urged Nigerians to register as soon as the voter registration exercise commences and be ready vote.
'Once we can successfully prevent a few people from determining the outcome of elections, all elected leaders immediately come into the service of the general good. There will neither be accountability nor development when political leaders owe their privilege of power to the narrow interests of the few. I believe every major challenge that we face as a country can be confronted by the power of the vote,' he said.
Stressing that 'our political process is a work in progress,' Jonathan appealed to Nigerians, particularly the youths, to come back into the process, adding that the stakes were too high 'for us to abandon our right to re-order the present and determine the future.'
The President, whose address dwelt mainly on the nation's youths, paid glowing tribute to the undying spirit of the Nigerian as represented in the youths.
'There is an unchallengeable power of good in the Nigerian youth and we must recognize and harness it with a view to deploying its potential. With 70 per cent of our population below the age of 35, we are a strong and sturdy community, determined to defend our collective interest. Challenging times need to be challenged by the overwhelming strength of vision.
'It is in this regard that as I settle down to the duties of office, I will be depending on the ideas, energy and co-operation of all Nigerians to bring our dream to reality. There can never be a better time for national transformation than now,' Jonathan said. He commended the Vice Chancellor, Prof Don Baridam, whose tenure expires in July, for his uncommon achievements.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor said the Federal Government has approved the establishment of the Centre for Energy Studies in the university, adding that when functional, the centre would facilitate studies in nuclear energy and related disciplines.
Baridam, who recalled the assassination of two staff of the institution, including its Chief Security Officer, Mr Amadi Wali, observed that such violent killings and threats have become commonplace in the nation's university system and urged the government to tackle insecurity in universities and the larger society.
Highpoint of the convocation was the award of certificates, first degrees and post-graduate degrees to 5,922 graduates and the award of honorary doctorate degrees to some eminent Nigerians, which included a former Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Mohammed Uwais; Managing Director of the World Bank, Dr. Ngozi
Okonjo-Iweala, who was represented by her father; a former Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof Sylvanus Cookey, Prof Aniezionwu Okoro, and Mr Donald Duke, former Cross River State Governor.
Also honoured was the Oba Akran of Badagry, Dr De Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi I, who is the new Chancellor of the univeristy.