I wont run in 2015 says Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has said he will not contest in the 2015 elections.
Speaking during an interactive session with Nigerians, primarily diplomats working in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union (AU), the president assured them that if he is voted for the next four years, he will ensure significant improvement in key sectors of the economy like security, power, education, road, health among others.
“Without security there is no government so it is not debatable, it is something we have to address and we are working towards that with vigour. But if I am voted into power within the next four years, the issue of power will become a thing of the past. Four years is enough for anyone in power to make significant improvement and if I can't improve on power within this period, it then means I cannot do anything even if I am there for the next four years” he said.
Fielding questions from those present at the session on whether Nigerians abroad will vote, Mr Jonathan said “I would have loved that the Nigerians in Diaspora vote this year but to be frank with you, that is going to be difficult now. Presently, the law does not allow voting outside Nigeria and so this year, Nigerians in Diaspora will not vote but I will work towards it by 2015 even though I will not be running for election”, he said.
On the issue of security in the country, Mr Jonathan said the government is doing everything possible to arrest the situation adding that all those involved in the October 1st bombing have been arrested and are currently being prosecuted. He also said he ordered the release of the car dealers because they were just businessmen who could not have known that the vehicles were to be used for such heinous crime.
As regards road network and transportation in the country, he assured the audience that the railway system will soon be revamped because presently, heavy duty vehicles are destroying the roads. “Why we cannot have continuous road maintenance for now is because no contractor wants to go into it because of the continuous pressure on the road by heavy duty vehicles. That is why we are working to ensure that we revamp the rail”.
Care for Nigerian Diaspora
The president also addressed issues raised on having a database of Nigerian experts in the Diaspora, Mr Jonathan assured them that he is working on creating a forum for interaction between them and that the government will also develop a database, where experts needed to address the various challenges of the economy will be drawn from. He hinted that this is why the Diaspora Commission is being set up and the bill is already before the National Assembly.
The President also disclosed that the government is planning to review the country's foreign policy to ensure that Nigeria gets maximum benefit from its roles and contributions to international organisations like the AU, UN and ECOWAS.
He further lamented that right now, Nigeria's contributions are not being recognised adding that “there is need for Nigeria to have something in return for our investments. We are investing so much but it is not being noticed and there is need to reverse that trend.”
The President further assured that Nigerians working in international organisations and institutions will be issued diplomatic passports. Following this, he directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Odein Ajumogobia to submit the list of those qualified within the shortest possible time to him.