January 20, 2015

I’m not enemy of the North — Jonathan

I’m not enemy of the North  — Jonathan

•Senate President, Senator David Mark, wife of the Vice President, Hajia Amina Sambo, Vice President Nnamadi Sambo, First Lady, Patience Jonathan and National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mua’zu at the PDP National Convention in Abuja.

By Gbenga Oke

President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, in Sokoto described those calling him enemy of the North, as liars who have nothing to offer the region.

The President also said his administration had achieved a lot in the area of transforming  the educational and agricultural sectors across the Northern states.

The President, who spoke during the campaign rally in Sokoto State at Shehu Kangiwa Square, said his administration had achieved more for the North than any other administration led by former Presidents of Nigeria.

His words: “When I came on board as president, I established 14 new universities, four were built in the South while 10 were built in the North, yet they keep telling you I hate the North. If truly I hate the North and I do not want the children from the North to be like me, will I take such action?” the President asked.

He went further: “Federal Government has no business with basic primary education because they are functions of the state government, but I took it upon myself to build Almajiri schools here because we realised there is a higher percentage of children out of school in the North than in the South. So we intervened massively. Is that hating the North?

“In the area of agriculture, tell me of any government that has supported the North with several agricultural equipment and with billions in cash loans. Is that hating the North? If I don’t like the North, will they benefit up to 70 per cent of agricultural reforms we are doing?” he asked.

He said those claiming that he was against the North themselves really had nothing to offer the region.

His words: “Those who say I do not like the North were also presidents in the past, but what did they do for the North? How many schools or universities did they build in the North and what did they do to ameliorate the problems in the agricultural sector?”

President Jonathan, however, called on politicians in the state to shun the act of violence at the forthcoming elections.

He said: “We must learn to exhibit the spirit of sportsmanship in politics because on my arrival this morning, the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammadu Saadu Abubakar, drew my attention to the unwarranted rivalry that existed among political parties in the state and he condemned the development in its entirety.

Stressing further, he said: “I visited Ogun State recently and the state Governor, Ibikunle Amusun, who is of the opposition party accommodated me at the Governor’s Lodge, where both of us passed the night without any rancour. I believe this is what politics should be.”

In their goodwill messages, former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa and the Deputy Governor of the state, Barrister Mukhtar Shagari promised to deliver the state 100 per cent to Jonathan at the forthcoming polls.