President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday challenged his critics to compare his achievements in the past two years and eight months in office with the performance of his predecessors.
This is just as the president also on Thursday hinted that the list of new ministers will be announced immediately the National Assembly resumes.
The president stated this while speaking at a meeting with a North-West delegation of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) led by former defence minister, Mohammed Halilu, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The delegation also included Governors Shehu Shema of Katsina; Muktar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna; Seidu Dakingari of Kebbi; chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Bamanga Tukur son of former head of state, Mohammed Abacha; former speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’Abba and deputy governor of Sokoto State, Muktar Shagari, as well as party delegates from Sokoto, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano and Zamfara states.
The president declared that “sometimes when you hear people talk about this government on television or in the newspapers you will think this government is 10 years old, but we are only two years eight months old. By May this year we will be three years old and by May 2015 we will be four years old. And I challenged some of those who criticise without thinking to compare what we have done in the two years eight months with that of any other administration in this country and outside”.
The president recalled that he had asked Nigerians to develop their marking scheme when he presented critics the administration’s mid-term report for two years in June 2013, adding that it was not enough to criticise.
“I asked people to develop their marking scheme. It is not just to criticise but you have to compare and especially a government that is facing too much challenges. If you look at the excesses of Boko Haram of which even the police headquarters was bombed here in Abuja, UN building bombed. The bombing started from Abuja, thank God we have generals amongst us here, they can tell you the cost of fighting this kind of situation”.
He declared further that “even under this situation we have progressed significantly and sometimes people don’t even appreciate but time will come that people will know”.
The president, who also defended his administration’s policies, especially as it affects the Northern part of Nigeria, rejected claims that he is promoing policies that are anti-North.
“Sometimes people say Jonathan is anti-North, he does not want to develop the North and sometimes they sell these ideas to people from outside especially those from the United States of America, you Nigerians believe the West must say something for us to listen.
“And I have spoken to one or two envoys and I said look if I am anti-North, agreed I am from South South minority, if I had established three universities in the North and three in the South because there is no money nobody will castigate me. In the South there were only two universities before we established the new universities, there were only three states without university, Ekiti, Ebonyi and Bayelsa, all the others have federal universities. As at the time, nine states in the North did not have universities. And I believe that the very first thing you use to emancipate people is education”.