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2015: I'll expose ex-heads of state, says Jonathan

By The Citizen
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President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, pleaded with Nigerians to vote him in for a second term to expose the failings of his predecessors including Buhari, which stunted the country's growth and development. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, while inaugurating the Goodluck/Sambo 2015 Presidential Campaign Organisation, PCO, at the PDP Presidential Campaign office, Legacy House, Maitama, Abuja promised to unfold to Nigerians what his government has done in the last couple of years that presidents and heads of state before him could not achieve.

Former Military President, Ibrahim Babangida had described his government as saintly compared to successive administrations in terms of prevalence of corruption, just as former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday, took a swipe at President Jonathan, accusing him among other things of squandering $55 billion crude oil savings left behind by his Administration.

President Jonathan, who noted that his administration has performed more than the previous ones with the nation's economy as the largest in Africa, said: 'When we start campaigns, we will confront them with what we have done as a government, we will tell them what they did not do when they were heads of state. Some people want to still keep these children as shoe cleaners, we must lift them up. Our children should not be used as cannon folders. They should be allowed to move forward to be governors like us.

'We have everything it takes to run an excellent and victorious campaign. Our great party has demonstrated to Nigerians that it is the party with the broadest appeal. We are the strongest and the biggest. We have engaged the people of Nigeria positively with people-friendly policies, which have moved Nigeria forward.'

He continued: 'We have sustained the democratic tradition. We have strengthened democratic institutions. We inherited a rather complex security challenge but we are waging a determined war against it. We are succeeding in preventing terrorists and insurgents from turning more of our communities into enclaves for their dastardly activities.

'We remain fully committed to further empowering the security agencies to enable them win the war against terror. We have proven to the people that we are a party and a team that they can rely upon.

'In the last four years, despite the security challenges we have had to contend with, Nigeria, under our watch, has made significant strides in every aspect. Our economy today is the largest and the strongest in the African continent, and a preferred destination for foreign direct investment.

'We have focused on job creation and the expansion of opportunities for our teeming youth as well as interventions to promote Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises. Through an internationally acclaimed transformational agricultural programme, we have re-established agriculture as a business, and a major driver of economic growth.

'Today, not only is the agricultural sector thriving, the value chains in the sector have been activated and have become productive. The country's food import bill has been reduced, and the non-oil sector has witnessed significant growth.

'We have expanded access to education by providing schools and facilities at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Today, there is a Federal University in every state of the Federation, and every Nigerian child has been given the opportunity to go to school.

'We have successfully privatized the power sector, a process that was adjudged by the international community of investors as transparent and credible. Our trains are moving again, from Lagos to Kano, from Lagos to Ibadan, from Port Harcourt to Enugu.

'I am not campaigning to you who are already convinced. I have no doubt that you are all familiar with the achievements of this administration. But I have outlined a few of them to show that we are in a solid position to run a campaign based on our commendable record. Our creditable performance in the past four years should be our strongest selling point as we go to the campaign fields.

'Flaunt our achievements in all parts of the country, tell the story of what we have achieved and let the facts and the figures be heard in every nook and cranny of Nigeria.'

Speaking on next month's election, President Jonathan who assured Nigerians that the country will get it right and will not break, vowed that those who foment trouble before and after the election would be dealt with in accordance with the law of the land, adding that campaigns must be issue-based and devoid of violence and thuggery.

'You have all been invited to serve our great party in this capacity, in recognition of your loyalty, dedication, commitment to the democratic cause, and your outstanding individual talents.

'I am fully convinced that not only are you up to the task individually or as a team, but that you also have all that it takes- the passion, intellect, drive, commitment, and the know-how to run a focused, robust and purposeful campaign that will further endear our ticket to the electorate and bring us victory once again.

'As we embark formally on the campaigns for our re-election, our party, the People's Democratic Party will depend on you. I am also personally counting on you. I ask you to take on this assignment for your great party, for Goodluck Jonathan and Namadi Sambo, and also, more importantly, for the country as a whole.

'Without doubt, the forthcoming elections mark a critical point in our nation's history. The eyes of the international community are focused on the transition that lies ahead of us; the fifth post-military rule general elections that will be conducted under a civilian dispensation in Nigeria.

'The world is asking: Will Nigeria get it right? My categorical response to that is: Yes, we must. And surely, we will. It is your duty to ensure that through your campaigns, and activities, this primary objective is not lost.

'Our commitment to free, fair, credible, and violence-free elections remains unshaken. That should also be your  commitment as we go to the field to seek the people's mandate once again.

'You must always remember that we are a party of democrats, not a party of hooligans. We are a party of patriots, not a party of renegades. We are a party of statesmen and women. We are a party of builders, not destroyers. We are a party of committed servants of the people.  You must let our people see once again, that we are in this to serve and to move Nigeria forward, not to move Nigeria backwards.

'In the coming campaigns and elections, we must see to it that Nigeria triumphs, and that democracy wins. No other cause can be greater than the Nigerian cause. Without Nigeria, there will be no President.

'We have an obligation to consolidate our democracy, strengthen our institutions and project Nigeria positively by running a disciplined, issues-based and civilized campaign. That is my charge to you all.

'I am especially inspired by the positive energy, the optimism, and the enthusiasm among our party leaders and members. There may be issues arising from the party primaries, which have led to some of our members expressing grievances. But this is the time for all of us to come together and work as one family. At the end of the day, every one of us will be useful in one way or the other. - Vanguard.