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Act Now, Danjuma tells Jonathan

Acting President Goodlucki Jonathan (m) flanked by the Chairman Presidential Advisory Council, Gen. Theophelus Danjuma (5l) and the Vice Chairman of the Council, Prof. Ben Nwabueze in a group photograph shortly after the inauguration of the Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida .

….Says One Day is a Long time in Politics

By Daniel Idonor
Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Council, PAC, Lt Gen. Theophilus Danjuma (rtd), Thursday charged Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to be more decisive in all that he intends to do for Nigeria in view of the short available time for his acting presidency; saying that “one day is a long time politics”.

The former Minister of Defence declared that unless Jonathan acts now, by doing that is required of a President of a Country, in terms of the immediate development needs, posterity will not forgive him; as his inability to act decisively could lead to the early loss of the mounting goodwill from Nigerians.

Speaking during an acceptance speech after the inauguration of the council by Acting President Jonathan, Danjuma, a member of the defunct Supreme Military Council, said the emergence of Jonathan is a divine call to duty; he must therefore strive hard to ensure that the divine power to act is utilized to the best of his ability.

“Now that you have been invested with the authority the nation expects you to proceed quickly to effect the needed transformation. This is the right time for you to act- now when you can act quickly and aggressively-now when society can be trusted to be as generous as to credit you with your successes and to excuse your errors”, he said.

According to him, Jonathan has all it takes to make a good leader and take Nigeria to the next level of development but noted that except he moves swiftly to takle the challenges facing Nigeria head-on, his era would not be recorded in history as Nigeria’s Acting President.

“Because the times are extra-ordinary, the measures that need to be taken are not only urgent but also extra-ordinary. Unless you take those measures quickly the goodwill which you now enjoy may be lost. Fortunately you have the require courage and vision. What you did not have in the past was the authority, he stressed.

He advised Jonathan not to give a listening ears to detractors as such people were not God who decided to elevate him, but should remain focus and swift in decision; saying he has all the powers needed of any country’s president.

“This is a decisive moment in our history. At such moments God always ensures that a nation possesses significant personalities who are to act as his agents for change. You, Mr. Acting President, are the significant personality that God has chosen at this time to take your place at the front in the struggle to save our country”, he said.

Danjuma warned that Jonathan must take adequate advantage of the 12 months remaining for the administration to give his best to Nigerians; adding that “this administration has barely 12 months to serve out its tenure. This is not an awfully long time to do effectively with all the problems set out in our terms of reference. But then one day is a long time in politics. Mr. Acting President you have sufficient time to make a difference”.

He commended ailing President Musa Yar’Adua “for his effective use of sticks and carrots in the solution of the long-standing Niger Delta problem”; saying that “his grant of general amnesty to the militants leading to the solution of lingering Niger Delta problem is most commendable”; and “fervently urge you to implement all the measures that have been agreed upon in order to reconcile the people of that area to the nation, as the absence of peace in the Niger Delta is a threat to peace in the nation as a whole”.

“We commend the efforts of government in its fight against corruption but urge that it should be made pro-active rather than reactive because prevention is better than cure”; but warned that “there is a general feeling that the fight against corruption has slowed down and we urge that something be done to restore the momentum”; stressing that “side by side with the fight against corruption is the need to ensure that our elections are fair and transparent”.

He said “the need for electoral reforms has already been acknowledged by your government and we commend the efforts made so far in that regard. We appeal to you to pursue that effort to its logical conclusion with all speed, determination and sincerity. If all you do, as acting president is to ensure that our elections are transparent, it shall be sufficient to endear you to the nation and you shall go down in history as one of our greatest leaders”.

On the degenerating electricity power supply, Danjuma stated that “over the years nothing has undermined government’s efforts at attaining self-reliance more than our lack of constant and reliable power supply”; saying that “this is one factor discouraging foreign investment and local enterprise. We urge a comprehensive solution using not only the best experts of our country but also of other nations. No attention paid to this sector will be too great”.

According to him, “by appointing this calibre of men and women from all over the country and from all walks of life you have demonstrated your own commitment to excellence and your determination to succeed. On our part we take this assignment to heart and look forward to all that we can do to make your administration a great success”

Jonathan Calls For Support

Inaugurating the panel Acting President Jonathan acknowledged the limited time at hand; saying that “although time is short, like a determined athlete, we need no more than a hundred meters to make our mark on the sands of good governance. But we cannot do it alone”.

“A people focused and beneficial variety of government is a bold and cooperative affair delivered by patriotic man and women who believe in the limitless possibilities for our country. I am convinced therefore that the best advertisement of good governance is its positive expressions of happiness in the lives of the governed”.

He said “Twenty-two days ago today, the Nation spoke through the National Assembly and bestowed the exercise of presidential powers on me pending the return of our President to full health”.

Jonathan reaffirmed his belief that the privilege and opportunity of service is a sacred trust that “we must not betray; noting that “the authority to serve therefore must always be derived from the power of the people”.

According to him, “it is in this regard that the loud but healthy clamour for good governance across our country cannot be ignored. We have gathered here this morning in the name of good governance and there is no going back.

“It is in pursuance of this goal and having due regard to the urgency of the moment, that I requested that a team of men and women of distinguished pedigree be called to service at this hour and in the interest of our nation”.

He therefore assured that recommendations and suggestions of the panel will not be treated with levity; saying that “the Federal Executive Council and other key members of the Federal Government will pay attention to what you have to say on matters within the scope of this national assignment”.

“I urge you to come up with practical options that will enable this government improve the quality of life of all our citizens. This is beyond politics. It is the big call of our generation. Our citizens are expectant”.

Full Text of Danjuma’s Speech

THE SPEECH OF GEN. T.Y. DANJUMA (RTD), GCON, CHAIRMAN OF THE PRESIDENTIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE DELIVERED ON THE OCCASION OF THE INAUGURATION OF THE COMMITTEE ON THURSDAY, THE 4TH DAY OF MARCH 2010.

On behalf of the members of the Presidential Advisory Council, I congratulate you on your assumption of office as Acting President of our great nation. Some of us may already have congratulated you individually and privately. We now do so collectively and publicly. We do so without any reservations whatsoever, confidant that the great hopes which we have invested in you by the nation, indeed the entire world shall not be disappointed.

On behalf of myself and the members of the Presidential Advisory Council, I thank you for this unique opportunity given to us to serve the nation. The persons you have appointed into this Advisory Council are hardworking and patriotic men and women of rank and position who are all distinguished by their length of service and experience and who can be trusted to advise you honestly and fearlessly.

By appointing this calibre of men and women from all over the country and from all walks of life you have demonstrated your own commitment to excellence and your determination to succeed. On our part we take this assignment to heart and look forward to all that we can do to make your administration a great success. Thank you for this unique opportunity given to us to be of service to the nation.

This is a decisive moment in our history. At such moments God always ensures that a nation possesses significant personalities who are to act as his agents for change. You, Mr. Acting President, are the significant personality that God has chosen at this time to take your place at the front in the struggle to save our country. Because the time arte extra-ordinary, the measures that need to be taken are not only urgent but also extra-ordinary. Unless you take those measures quickly the goodwill which you now enjoy may be lost. Fortunately you have the require courage and vision. What you did not have in the past was the authority. Now that you have been invested with the authority the nation expects you to proceed quickly to effect the needed transformation. This is the right time for you to act- now when you can act quickly and aggressively-now when society can be trusted to be so generous as to credit you with your successes and to excuse your errors.

Having said this, I must take account of the fact that this administration has barely 12 months to serve out its tenure. This is not an awfully long time to do effectively with all the problems set out in our terms of reference. But then one day is along time in politics. Mr. Acting President you have sufficient time to make a difference.

We salute President Musa Yar’Adua for his effective use of sticks and carrots in the solution of the long-standing Niger Delta problem. His grant of general amnesty to the militants leading to the solution of lingering Niger Delta problem is most commendable. We now fervently urge you to implement all the measures that have been agreed upon in order to reconcile the people of that area to the nation. The absence of peace in the Niger Delta is a threat to peace in the nation as a whole.

We commend the efforts of government in its fight against corruption but urge that it should be made pro-active rather than reactive because prevention is better than cure. There is a general feeling that the fight against corruption has slowed down and we urge that something be done to restore the momentum.

Side by side with the fight against corruption is the need to ensure that our elections are fair and transparent. The need for electoral reforms has already been acknowledged by your government and we commend the efforts made so far in that regard.

We appeal to you to pursue that effort to its logical conclusion with all speed, determination and sincerity. If all you do, as acting president is to ensure that our elections are transparent, it shall be sufficient to endear you to the nation and you shall go down in history as one of our greatest leaders.

Over the years nothing has undermined government’s efforts at attaining self-reliance more than our lack of constant and reliable power supply. This is one factor discouraging foreign investment and local enterprise. We urge a comprehensive solution using not only the best experts of our country but also of other nations. No attention paid to this sector will be too great.

Once more we thank you for this opportunity given to us to serve the nation and we assure you of all our support. May God Almighty continue to bless our country Nigeria and to guide you at this trying moment?


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