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Sunday, 30 November 2014

I regret emergence of Tambuwal as Speaker - President Jonathan

 

•Says Nigeria’ll overcome her challenges
•Jimoh Ibrahim assures GEJ of 7 million votes in S’West


President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said Nigeria would overcome her current challenges, just as he regretted the emergence of Aminu Tambuwal as Speaker of the House of Representatives at the expense of Mulikat Akande-Adeola, the Peoples Democratic Party preferred candidate for the position.

President Jonathan, who made the declaration in Ile-Ife, while addressing a day summit, organised by the Yoruba Concerned Leaders with the theme: “Nigeria Development: Whither the Yoruba” extolled the virtues of Yoruba people, describing their contributions to all spheres of the nation’s life as “exemplary”.

He, however, hinged the inability of Akande-Adeola to emerge Speaker to the decision by some people from the region, who “thought otherwise”.

He said “one of the problems I face is the National Assembly. Our party has arrangement for positions.

When a president and vice president emerge from different regions, other offices – the Senate President, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the party chairman and Speaker of House of Representatives must come from different geo-political zones.

“The idea is that when we are to decide, people in these positions meet with us to decide on crucial things. In that case we want every geo-politically zones to be represented in that inner caucus of our party.

Last time, it was difficult for me because I insisted that South West must get Speaker but some of us within South West didn’t want that because of personal ambition and I am still suffering for that till today.

“That is why I am telling our leaders here that this time around we must work together and ensure that whatever position that is zoned to South West, we must get and no one should rob us of it”.

Speaking further at the event held at Oduduwa Hall in Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile Ife, Jonathan averred that his administration had been fair to the people of South West and assured that the import of the strategic position the region occupies, as touches on the economy of the country, is not lost on his administration.

Referring to the assertion by businessman and politician, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, who in his remarks earlier, relied on the World Bank poverty ratings of regions in the country which listed South West as having 16 per cent while North East has the highest rate of 52 per cent, Jonathan maintained that South West region would continue to enjoy robust economy owing to the active economic activities around Lagos and Ogun states which, according to him, has almost 55 per cent of the nation’s economic activities.

“When Jimoh was talking about World Bank statistics of the poverty rate in regions in the country, he said South West has least in the country. In fact, Lagos and Ogun contributed almost 55 per cent of the economic activities.

So, we know where the wealth is, the infrastructures there must be provided,” Jonathan said. Assuring that the report of Constitutional Conference would be implemented, Jonathan said the situation at the moment was not conducive for its implementation.

“Political situation in Nigeria presently does not favour implementation of such report. Because of partisan interest, people are even ready to kill.

We cannot play with such documents that our great men and women toil to produce. I believe every content will be taken by government. I have said it and I am saying it again that we will implement the report of the confab,” Jonathan said.

He assured that he would continue to cherish the contribution of the Yoruba race alongside people from other parts of the country and promised never to leave the region behind in the developmental programmes of his administration, while hinting that booklets that would contain all his achievements in all the regions of the country would be developed.

Delivering a paper on the topic, Unity of Yoruba Nation’s, former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, assured the president of Yoruba support, noting that Jonathan is a product of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s prophesy in 1983 that the minority group would produce Nigeria’s president.

In his welcome address, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade, called for unity among people of the region to ensure what is due for the race is given to them.

Addressing the gathering, Group Managing Director of Global Fleet, Barrister Jimoh Ibrahim, said the South West region would trust Jonathan and give him over 7 million votes in next February polls.He however led the open endorsement of President Jonathan as the presidential candidate of the region in next year’s election, assuring that the people of the region would work very hard for Jonathan’s victory.

Former chairman of the Nigeria Ports Authority, Chief Bode George; former Ogun State governor, Chief Gbenga Daniel; and Senator Femi Okunrounmu, in their separate remarks, stated that Yoruba people could not afford to be going in different directions hence the need to manage their dispute with civility. In their goodwill messages,the Orangun Of Oke Ila,Oba Adedokun Abolarin; Chief Olu Falae; Governor Ayodele Fayose; Mrs Mulikat Akande Adeola and Senator Femi Okunrounmu urged the president not to be distracted by negative comments and actions of some people to his administration.

In attendance were the Ooni of Ife,Oba Okunade Sijuwade,Owa Obokun of Ijesaland,Oba Adekunle Aromolaran, academics, captains of industries and members of the People’s Democratic Party among others.

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