We Must Support Jonathan, Anenih Tells Southerners
Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party
(PDP), Chief Tony Anenih, has called on states of southern Nigeria to
unite behind President Goodluck Jonathan and support him in the governance
of the nation.
Anenih made the call in an address he delivered yesterday at the Southern
Leaders Summit held at the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort in Calabar.
He said the President needed their support to face the challenges created
by Boko Haram, the global economic recession and unrest, and to keep the
Declaring that “the unity of this country is not negotiable,” Anenih said,
“We must acknowledge the uncommon leadership the President has exhibited
in the face of these challenges.”
The PDP BoT Chairman also said, “Unfortunately, some Nigerians do not see
any good in the present administration,” adding “this perception should be
Anenih expressed happiness at the summit, which was convened to articulate
Southern Nigeria's positions at the forthcoming National Conference, that
the idea of a national conference had been widely accepted.
He also said that, “The response to the National Conference Committee was
quite remarkable; so also is the widespread pre-National Conference
Dialogue that is going on among various groups across the country.
“I commend President Goodluck Jonathan for his sagacity in giving
Nigerians this golden platform to examine areas of concern about the
Nigerian federation and find common solutions to those problems that have
constituted a hindrance to our evolutionary journey to nationhood.
“I am convinced that the National Conference will strengthen the bonds of
unity, the fabric of our federalism and the pillars of our nationhood.
The unity of this great nation is not negotiable.”
He added, “It is gratifying that different groups—nationalities, civil
society organisations, faith-based organisations and academic
institutions—are crystallising their positions and preparing
well-thought-out proposals for the National Conference.
“This Southern Leaders Summit is, surely, one of the pre-Conference Fora
which, hopefully, will identify areas of common interest to the States of
Anenih, who used the occasion to lament the inability of the States of the
South to operate on a common platform or to speak consistently with one
voice, said the summit would provide a platform to identify common
According to him, “there is no doubt that there are many concerns which
they share and need to identify at a platform such as this. Our Northern
counterparts have been known to work together as a united front. We in the
South must also forge unity and cooperation among ourselves.”
He noted that the participants at the Summit are men and women who have
distinguished themselves in their various callings and in the services of
this country. Moreover, he expressed confidence that the ideas and
proposals which would emanate from the deliberations would not only be
profound but also capable of lifting the country and helping it towards
attaining its manifest destiny.
His admonition: “We must see this National Conference, not as a platform
to shout at one another but rather as another opportunity to make our
country a better place to live in.
“We must concern ourselves with proffering ideas that will bring
improvements to every aspect and sector of our national life. Our aim must
be to facilitate the emergence of a new Nigeria which, in the days, months
and years after the National Conference, will be far better and more
united than ever before.”