THE SPEECH GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN SHOULD HAVE GIVEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY 2011
My fellow Nigerians, it is with great sadness that I address you today, a day when families across our Nation should be celebrating and sharing with their neighbours. A day that should remind us all of the value of life and the bonds that hold us together; yet a day when some of our own fellow citizens have elected to carry out despicable and outrageous terrorist atrocities against their own brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and children. As I speak we are trying to establish exactly what has happened and we will try to keep you updated on what we find. But what is reasonably clear is that there has been a series of terrorist attacks against churches in the midst of the Christmas worship. There are fatalities and people seriously injured. My thoughts and prayers and that of all Nigeria is with the victims and their families. Rest assured that my government will do all that is necessary to support them through this very difficult time.
My intention this afternoon is to speak with the police, the emergency services and the ministers that have been dealing with this and I will be calling an emergency meeting of my cabinet on Monday morning.
Let us be absolutely clear, the acts that have been visited on our Nation today and as in the past few months are acts of criminality, it is particularly barbaric that they have been perpetrated on a day that is held holy by a large section of the Nigerian people and in their places of worship. The criminals who carried them out have planned and aimed to cause death and destruction against innocent citizens because of their desire to impose their extreme and evil ideologies on our Nation. These are not attacks against one or two people; they are attacks against us all. Let me be absolutely clear therefore, whatever they do, they will never succeed. My government will move with a greater sense of urgency to ensure that we bring those responsible to justice.
My fellow citizens, we face a real and present threat which cannot be dismissed simply as senseless. We must examine the nature and origin of this threat and face up to the challenge of defeating it. There are a few among us who have bought into extreme ideologies and are committed to the use of violence as a way of achieving their goals of enforcing that ideology on all of us. This is contrary to the values we have and the rights enshrined in our constitution. We are entitled to go about our normal activities without fear. This is what those who commit terrorist acts are trying to stop us from doing; to force us to become what they expect us to be, a part of their warped idea of how life should be lived. But they cannot and will not succeed. We know about these sorts of extreme views and the methods used in promoting them as we have seen such terrorist atrocities in other parts of the world; like those nations, we are determined to say to those who are bent on carry out such acts, you will not break or resolve and we will not be terrorised.
Moving forward, I want to reassure you all that we will do all that is within our power to find the perpetrator and we will bring them to justice. We will intensify police and security services action and I will be directing our security services to work to prevent these fanatics building their infrastructure in our country and to ensure that they develop the necessary systems and structures to make it more likely that such acts are prevented in the future. I will also be looking at bringing forward revised training programmes for our security agencies to tackle what is a new and emerging threat in the history of our Nation. We will also be increasing cooperation with our International Partners particularly those who have had more experience of dealing with these sorts of atrocities, to learn from them to develop and improve our approach. I urge all Nigerians to be resolute and vigilant, cooperating with the security services to help us defeat this threat.
By Cadre Drake, Liberate – Delta People's Movement