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State Of The Nation: I Cannot Perform Magic - Jonathan

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IMAGE: President Goodluck Jonathan »



President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday blamed the slow pace of economic development in the country on the several crises being experienced in parts of Nigeria. According to him, the challenges had consistently impeded the growth of the economy and it was out of place for anyone to talk of economic development in a society where there is no peace, when it is common knowledge that for any given economy to develop, there must be internal democracy and stability.

The president stated this while receiving the 2013 Africa Peace Award from the United Religions Initiatives (URI) at the Presidential Villa. This is just as the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting did not hold. Although no reason was given for why the council meeting did not take place, LEADERSHIP learnt that it may not be unconnected to the fact that the president had just arrived the country from Israel in the early hours of yesterday, where he had been since last Wednesday and engaged in a number of activities, and would need to rest.

At the presentation of the award, President Jonathan noted that there was no way any meaningful economic development could take place in a country where its citizens had resorted to settling their differences by fighting.

“Even when countries are fighting, at the end of the day, they still come to the dialogue table to resolve. They have hardly solved any crisis through the barrel of the gun. Even if they had the most sophisticated weapons to fight with, they would still come to negotiate, otherwise you can never live in peace. So let me call on all Nigerians, especially the young people. If you come to the south part of this country you hear about militancy, kidnapping and if you go to the North, you have this issue of Boko Haram.

“For us to develop our country we must all embrace peace. There is no way the government can perform magic when the people are shooting guns, because economic growth and development is in the hands of the private sector,” the president said.

Jonathan noted that it was because of this that the African Union (AU) as well as the Economic Communities of West African States (ECOWAS) became interested in helping African States to achieve peace, even as he added that African nations share the belief that the they must help each other govern their countries.

He dedicated the award to all Nigerians, saying he would not relent in doing that which would enhance peace and guarantee political stability in Nigeria, as economic growth, development and stability are tied to political stability.

He further said, “We will continue to do our best. For me as an individual, I will continue to play my role in spite of the challenges. Let me use this unique opportunity to call on all Nigerians and all the people of the world to embrace peace. You cannot talk about development when you are fighting.”

The regional director of URI, Ambassador Mussie Hailu, who presented the award to President Jonathan explained that it was in recognition of his immense contributions to religious harmony in Nigeria, as well as peacekeeping operations under the United Nations.

Noting that the award was a non- monetary honour for people who had distinguished themselves and exhibited exceptional leadership qualities, he added that previous recipients of the award included former president of Mozambique, Joaquin Chissano,  Girma Woldegiorgis of Ethiopia, Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Blaise Compaore of  Burkina Faso amongst others.

“We have been following with great interest the great role the president plays in his country, West Africa and Africa as a whole since he took up office as president of Nigeria. We commend his leadership qualities in the West African sub-region in particular as ECOWAS Chairman and also laud the current transformation agenda of his administration,” he stated.



Article Credit: Leadership

Updated 5 Years ago

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