By Daniel Idonor
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, Wednesday, declared his intention to run for the office of the President in the 2011 election via his Facebook profile page.
This was an apparent attempt to counter the presidential declaration by General Ibrahim Babangida on the PDP platform.
In a direct post on Facebook, President Jonathan, for the first time, said that he took the decision after consultations with a wide spectrum of the society.
The President said he did not pretend to have the magic wand to solve all of Nigeria’s problems, neither did he claim that he was the most intelligent Nigerian.
Jonathan who said he would not make promises on what to do in the future just to win the affection of Nigerians which his predecessors had done but failed to deliver, stressed that he would expect Nigerians to judge him by his records.
The full text of the statement reads:
“Dear compatriots, four months ago, providence placed me at the leadership of our dear country, following the untimely death of our dear former President, my brother and leader, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. It was a very solemn and trying moment for me personally and for the country as a whole.
My immediate task and priority was and still remains to give the nation purposeful leadership and to focus on the priorities of our administration in order to maintain national peace and stability and pursue our key development priorities.
“In these few months as leader of the country, I have concentrated on managing the affairs of the nation, and resisted all efforts to respond to the drums of partisan politics which have been sounding very loud across the land.
As President and leader of government, I decided not to place partisan politics above the immediate needs and priorities of our people. I came under intense pressure to make a declaration concerning my political future, but declined to do so because that would have immediately distracted us from all the development initiatives we have accomplished so far.
I, therefore, told Nigerians to give me time to concentrate on my work and that at the appropriate time I would make a public statement on my political future after due consultations with all the segments and leaders of our nation.
“Today, I confirm that after wide and thorough consultations spanning the six geo_political zones that make up Nigeria, with members of my family, my party, the opposition, civil society, the Private Sector, members of the Labour Unions, religious leaders, youths and student groups and our revered traditional institutions, I, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan by the grace of God, hereby offer myself and my services to the Nigerian people as a candidate for the office of President in the forth coming 2011 elections.
“In presenting myself for service, I make no pretense that I have a magic wand that will solve all of Nigeria’s problems or that I am the most intelligent Nigerian. Far from it. What I do promise is this – if I am elected President in 2011, I will make a covenant with you the Nigerian people to always do right by you, to tell you the truth at all times, to carry you along and most importantly to listen to you, fellow citizens in our communities and also those of you on this page.
I do not want to win your affections by giving you promises of things I would do in the future which others before me have given and which have largely been unfulfilled. Rather, I would want you to judge me by my records.
Adequate fuel supply
“Since God Almighty and yourselves permitted me to serve you in the present capacity, I have busied myself with setting Nigeria on the path of peace and progress. My team and I made no promises on adequate fuel supply in Nigeria. We simply did what was expected of those who govern; we delivered it, and you are living witnesses to that.
We made no promise to revamp the textile industry. We delivered a bailout package worth 150 billion naira that is being dispensed as I write. We made no promises of securing the highest U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation clearance, the Category 1 Certificate which enables Nigerian registered airlines to fly to ANY U.S city. We delivered.
We made no promise to give Nigeria a brand new INEC under a proven God-fearing and incorruptible leader. We placed Nigeria first and delivered.
“We made no promises of protecting your loans, deposits and investments in the banking industry over and beyond what is covered under the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Scheme. We delivered it via AMCON. Rather than tell you what we could do to improve power, this administration demonstrated it by initiating a brand new national Super Grid as well as launching a concrete Road Map to the Power Sector with realistic goals tied to realistic dates.
I understand from some of your mails that there has been some small improvements in electricity supply in some communities. We met an economy that was beginning to slow due to the global recession. Today, the economy has verifiably grown by seven per cent this half year ending in June.
“I know you are tired of empty promises, so I will make only one promise to you today. The only promise I make to you my friends, fellow citizens and Nigeria, is to promise LESS and deliver MORE if I am elected. I call on you to join me to work together in harmony and synergy to forge a nation where we understand our differences instead of pretending they do not exist and work towards a perfect union founded on transparency, equity and justice.
A nation that is on her way to repairing her International reputation and project to the world that things have changed and the people of Nigeria have now taken Nigeria back from a few into the hands of her people who are eager, very eager to pull her weight in the forward movement of the African continent and the world in the pursuit of peace, prosperity and happiness.
“I will by the special grace of God be making a formal declaration to this effect at the Eagle’s Square, Abuja, on Saturday, September 18, 2011. I call on you my friends on this page and all Nigerians to give me your support and prayers so that together we can liberate our country from the confines and self-inflicted wounds and limitations of the past.
My dear friends and fellow citizens, to borrow an often used slogan by our youths, please join me in proclaiming: Forward Ever, Backward Never! Please let us all unite across tongue and creed to move our long suffering nation forward together. I thank you and may God bless our country Nigeria. GEJ.”