Nigeria's Unemployment Rate Scares Me --Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan has expressed fear over the high unemployment rate in the country, stressing that if nothing is done to curb it, a revolution may not be far from the country.
He disclosed this fear, Monday, in Lokoja, Kogi State at the grand finale of the campaign of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Capt. Idris Wada, in the governorship election which would hold in the State on Saturday.
According to President Jonathan, the government is in need of those who can carry out the transformation agenda of his government and Capt. Wada, the PDP candidate and his running mate, Yomi Awoniyi, are the most qualified in the State to assist in this regard.
He said the current Governor of the State has done a lot that should result in the return of the party in the governorship election and that the reception that has been accorded him shows that the election has been concluded in favour of the party.
"By next year when we begin to run our transformation budget, there are many things we must do and we just have to do them to make this country move.
"When we talk to other world leaders, they tell us that Nigeria has all that it takes for it to be a great nation and that we just have to put our arts right and do the right thing.
"We must create jobs for our young people. I do say that if we don't work hard, if we don't come up with programmes that would transform our economy, in the next three to four years, the number of youths leaving our universities and are all unemployed would revolt against whoever is the President of this country. They would revolt against whoever is a State Governor.
"We must therefore come up with policies and programmes that would create jobs for our teaming youths. So we need capable hands to work within the next few years," he told the crowd at the campaign ground in the State capital.
While maintaining that the PDP-led government would continue to carry the people of the State along, he added that "the only thing we can only tell Nigerians and plead with you is that our elections will not be entertained with violence as our party philosophy and principles dictates. Our campaign message is that any election, whether that of the President is not worth the blood of anybody.
"We don't win elections through violence. We win clean and square and that is why when we win our elections, even if you go to court, you are just going there to fulfil all righteousness. Kogi State will not be different."
He added that the party's candidate and his running mate have been tested and would not bring the name of the party to disrepute since they are experienced enough to serve the interest of the people first instead of their personal interests.
Also speaking at the campaign rally, the Senate President, David Mark, cautioned the people of the State against voting for the candidates of the opposition as they would regret ever carrying out that action.
"They are coming from the opposition and you don't know them. This devil that you know is better than the man who is promising you heaven and earth when in fact a few of them have demonstrated antics that you do not want to hear or remember any more. Let me tell you the truth and that truth is that the PDP is the only party that can lead this country to the Promised Land," he said.
Former chairman of the party, Senator Ahmadu Ali, used the opportunity to appeal to aspirants who lost at the party's primary not to remain aggrieved but support the candidate to succeed at the poll. "There are still many, many posts in the PDP for any aspiring young man," he added. "As for the opposition, you can forget them."
He confirmed that the PDP has problems but that these problems could be managed. He also said though the party's candidates in the election are not perfect, they would work with God's perfection.
Ahmadu Ali also said Kogi State has 16 mineral resources including oil and gas and as thus has no reason to be poor. "We must explore these minerals and become the greatest supplier of funds to the federation account. We have been promised a refinery and we have no militants in that zone because we have a way of dealing with them," he said.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and 24 PDP governors who were widely reported as part of the campaign train were conspicuously absent. The only Governor who was represented at the campaign by his deputy was Babangida Aliu of Niger State.