• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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Jonathan says response to re-election calls will be based on national interest


President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday said that national interest would override any personal ambition or sectional agenda in his decision to seek re-election in 2015 or not.

Jonathan, who stated this in his Eid-El-Kabir message to Muslim faithful in the country, called on all political leaders to do the same.

He felicitated with the Muslims and urged them to use the occasion to pray for the peace, progress and unity of the country as well as the success of the 2015 general elections.

He said, “my administration has done its sincere best in the past four years to implement its agenda for national transformation and move our country forward on several fronts.

“I thank many individuals, stakeholders, groups, associations, non-governmental organisations, unions and political leaders across the country.

“In recognition and appreciation of our efforts and commitment to reposition our dear nation for more rapid growth and development, they have urged me to seek a second term in office.

“In deciding on an appropriate response to such calls, I will place the greater interests of national harmony, cohesion, unity, security, political stability, progress, equity, justice and fairness above any personal ambition or sectional agenda.”

“I urge all political leaders in the country to place the overriding interest of the wellbeing and progress of our fatherland above all other considerations in the coming campaigns and elections,’’ he added.

The president urged the political class to rise above “unedifying, unpatriotic and selfish personal interests and divisive sectional agenda in the coming national elections.”

According to him, the call has become necessary following the issuance of a formal notice of the impending general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) during the week.

He said that with the official election notice, another national campaign season was now truly upon the country.

Jonathan urged all political actors to commit themselves to the sustenance of democracy and political stability in the country.

These, he added, were essential ingredients for the advancement of good governance, inclusive economic growth and rapid development of the nation.

He admitted that the country had continued to face critical challenges in some areas in spite of the significant progress it had made in the past four years.

“However, I am convinced that if we persevere and continue to build diligently on what the present administration has achieved, we will surely overcome all hindrances.

“We will also fully establish a stronger, more united and prosperous nation that meets the aspirations and yearnings of all of our people,” he said.

The president congratulated all Muslims in the country and believers who undertook this year’s Hajj as enjoined by Prophet Mohammed.

“As they conclude the rites of the Hajj and prepare to return home, let us all join them in offering special prayers for greater security, peace, unity and progress in our dear country.

“We should also use the occasion to pray for the peaceful and successful conduct of next year’s general elections.

“As we celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir, let us rededicate and commit ourselves to the Holy Prophet’s injunctions of piety, honesty, charity and generosity to the less privileged, impartial leadership and true justice for all.

“These virtues and lessons will surely stand our nation in good stead as we continue our journey towards the fulfillment of our founding fathers’ vision of a great nation.

“May Allah’s blessings be upon all our compatriots who have undertaken the Hajj this year and on our dear country.

“I wish all Nigerians currently in the Holy Land a safe journey back home,” the president said. (NAN)