President Goodluck Jonathan has said that it is within his constitutional rights to seek for a second term in office.
Speaking at a lunch with Nigerian professionals in New York on Sunday, the President urged politicians who are heating up the polity because of the 2015 elections to allow him concentrate on governance, adding that Nigerians have a right to choose their leaders.
He said, “already we have a constitution that makes provision for a maximum of eight years for anyone who wants to become a President or a Governor. There is no President or Governor that all citizens vote for, but at the end of the election if somebody emerges, you must allow the person to work. If you love your country, you would want your country to work. That does not mean that you will not vote against the person if you don’t like the way he works, but you must allow him to work”.
Jonathan said political leaders in the country must be mindful of what they say or do in order not to undermine the sovereignty of Nigeria.
He told those he referred to as ‘colleague politicians’ that “no matter how you feel about the political situation, consider the interest of your country first before yourself”.
“If you are struggling to enter a house, you must not plant dynamite to destroy the house. By the time you get there, there will be no house for you to stay in. So, first and foremost we must collectively build our country. Don’t bother about who is there now because power is transient, very very temporary.”
On whether his administration was doing enough to tackle corruption, he said “so many people are saying we are not doing well in fighting corruption and before you say that, there must be a parameter for judging us. What are the yardsticks they are using to judge us?”
“Before the advent of this government, the Federal Government was spending a whopping N25billion on fertiliser with only 11 percent of fertilizer reaching the farmers, but since the coming on board of this administration, government now spends between 5 billion to 6 billion Naira on fertiliser and we are achieving a reach of 80 percent. If we wanted to continue to steal money or look for money for elections, we could have continued”.
In the privatization of the power sector, he said the government conducted the over $3billion exercise in the most transparent manner.
“Yes we have not reached where we want to be, but we are making progress”, he said.
Jonathan further told the audience that his administration has made significant progress in reviving the rail transportation, aviation, road construction and other infrastructure.