Sijuade, Ife Monarchs Endorse Jonathan’s Re-election Bid
• Prays for President’s success
THE re-election bid of President Goodluck Jonathan got a major boost yesterday, as the Ooni-in -Council unanimously gave its total support for the President to continue in office.
In demonstration of their commitment, the Council, led by the Ooni, Oba Okunade Sijuade held series of prayers for Jonathan.
At the palace of the Ooni, where he went to seek royal blessing and support for his re-election in the March 28 Presidential poll, the President addressed some of the issues that have dominated his discussions with leaders and major stakeholders in the Southwest.
The issues addressed include the skewed political appointments against people from the zone, the implementation of the reports of the national conference as well as the revamping of the agricultural sector to make the country’s economy self-sustaining.
According to Jonathan, coming to Osun State was a homecoming of sorts, because he began his working career in the state as a young graduate, having performed his national service at Iresi, a town near Ile Ife.
Key highlights of the visit were the special royal prayer sessions laced with traditional invocations led by the Ooni himself, who pledged total support for Jonathan’s re-election.
Stressing the need for the implementation of the report of the national conference as the panacea for the growth and development of the country, the President believed that no matter what developmental strategies put in place, without long term solution such as enunciated in the conference report, such efforts would always end up as short-lived.
According to the President, “One of the key things that we must do is to ensure that we have some significant changes in the country in terms of social and political structures and we believe that for us to really have a changed society, we must go beyond just infrastructure. That is one of the reasons why we set up the national conference, with some key recommendations. If these are implemented, it will move Nigeria forward.
“When some people talk about change, we are talking about moving Nigeria forward, and to move Nigeria forward, we believe that the implementation of that report is key. Yes, as a government, we can work on our infrastructures like roads. But those clamouring for change won’t be able to bring about real change since they have refused to be part of the process that would bring about the change they are shouting about.
“Some political parties that are advocating for change, I believe, don’t have the blue print for the development of this country as enunciated in the report of the national conference. They cannot give out what they don’t have because they boycotted the conference and I don’t see how they will implement that report. If they will not implement that report, where will they take this country to?”
Jonathan admitted that the issue of skewed political appointments against the Southwest had become a major issue he had to address in the course of his interaction with the people of the zone. He gave assurance that the trend would be reversed in the next dispensation.
Addressing the issue as relates to Ile-Ife, he said the town was significant because it is the source of the Yoruba and noted that similar situation in the future would be rectified.
His words, “One of the matters that keep propping up is the issue of political appointments for people from the Southwest. I promise that in the next dispensation whatever lapses we have will be taken care of. We will sit down and make sure that while appointing people into offices, the Southwest is not short changed in any way.
“We knew what happened that led to that skewed distribution in a way and, over time, we tried to correct it. I believe because of that major problem at the beginning, though not caused by me, my good brothers and sisters, my fathers and mothers from the Southwest, I promise that in my second tenure, we will make sure this thing doesn’t come up at all.
“We promise that we will do our best for the whole country and the Southwest must play roles in government so that Southwesterners will get whatever is due to them.”
The President, who listed the achievements of his administration, especially in the areas of roads, agriculture, health and education, noted that Nigerians would enjoy better services if he were given another chance to lead.
“When we took over, just about 5,000 kilometers of federal roads were motorable, out of the 35,000 kilometers of roads owned by the Federal Government. Within this period, we have added 20,000 and expanded a number of them, while others have been dualised.
“In agriculture we have moved forward, we have performed well with agriculture. After the devastating floods in 2012, people thought that Nigeria was going to suffer from cost of food items but it never went up.”
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