Jonathan in Enugu, vows to sustain credible elections

By The Citizen

President Goodluck Jonathan Monday hinged the development and transformation of the country on free and credible electoral process, promising to use his opportunity as President to 'make a difference in the lives of Nigerians'.

President Jonathan spoke at Mpu in Aninri Local Council of Enugu State during the dedication and handing over of All Saints Anglican Covenant Church built by the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.

Jonathan, who recalled how 'humiliated' he had felt each time he travelled out of the country as Vice President at the kind of comments people made concerning Nigeria's electoral process, said that so much was being done to make the process better, adding that the era of manipulation would soon be over.

'You cannot talk about good governance where the elections of people are manipulated; you cannot steal a mandate and turn round to say that you can govern well,' he said.

'Lawyers will say you can't build anything on nothing; if your coming to power from councillorship to Presidency is based on manipulation, there will be no good thing you can do there. First and foremost, people must vote for you and you cannot talk about doing something good without their support.

'It is actually during the military that they used big guns to overthrow those with small guns and take over. In the political dispensation, you must be properly elected and for this, we must make sure that electoral processes are sanitised and the votes of Nigerians count.

'I know the kind of statement people make each time we leave here to other places, sometimes I feel so humiliated, and now the story has changed.'

Likening the desire to change the phase of electoral process to the philosophy of the Singaporian leader, who said that a leader cannot achieve everything but should rather pick few things to work on, he said his administration was putting more efforts into getting it right to ensure the development of the country.

Meanwhile, in his homily, the Primate of Anglican Communion, Rt. Revd Nicholas Okoh, said the country's problems were intractable because of human manipulation, adding that citizens have not used religion to build an enterprise that could impact on development.

At the event were the Senate President, David Mark; governors of Abia, Theodore Orji; and Anambra, Peter Obi; Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, senators and ministers, while Enugu State Governor, Sullivan Chime, was represented by his deputy, Sunday Onyebuchi.