April Polls: President Jonathan tasks Politicians on Peace, Healthy Competition
President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has urged the political class to allow the tenets of peace, healthy competition and mutual respect for one another to guide their participation in the imminent general elections, saying the nation cannot afford to be distracted by mindless violence at this crucial phase of its history.
He stated this today while commissioning the Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Customs Barracks, built for senior officers in Kuje Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
“I use this opportunity to appeal to members of the political class, the electorate and all Nigerians to ensure that the 2011 general elections commencing in another forty eight hours are conducted in an atmosphere of peace, harmony, mutual respect and healthy competition.
“Nigeria cannot afford to be distracted by acts of mindless violence and primordial tendencies at this critical period of our nation's history,” President Jonathan said.
The President tasked security agencies to be extra vigilant at this phase of political transition, pointing out that securing the lives of all Nigerians is paramount, in addition to their traditional roles of securing the nation's borders against economic saboteurs and unpatriotic purveyors of violence.
“Times like this calls for extra vigilance in addition to guarding all our entry points against the activities of economic saboteurs, imperatives of the times impose on you the added responsibility of ensuring the safety of lives in our country,” the President said.
While commending the Customs Service for partnering with government in improving revenue generation, he directed its leadership to reappraise their strategies and redouble efforts to further block revenue leakages in the system to boost government's efforts at diversifying the nation's revenue base.
He said the 120-unit housing scheme for customs officers is further evidence of his administration's commitment to the welfare of officers and men of the nation's security forces, while urging the officers to see the development as motivation for improved performance.
President Jonathan recalled his days of service to the fatherland as a Customs officer, and enjoined men of the Service to maintain the discipline and decorum which the Service is reputed for.
The President expressed satisfaction that his approval of the Comptroller General of Customs' plea for government's intervention in funding critical projects has yielded results in the completion of standard accommodation for officers and the building of the customs staff college in Gwagwalada, which is about to be completed.
Earlier, Comptroller General of Customs, Abdullahi Dikko, said the 120 units of fully furnished four bedroom duplexes was the result of President Jonathan's gracious approval of intervention funds to cater for the welfare of men and officers of the Service.
He said the Service is set to kick-start the construction of another 240-unit housing estate for junior officers.
The President later inspected the some houses in the barracks and performed the foundation laying ceremony for the junior officers housing scheme.