President Goodluck Jonathan has given the assurance that the Federal Government is working very hard to overcome Nigeria’s current security challenges.
The president made this known at an interactive session he had in Rio de Janeiro with members of the Nigerian community in Brazil.
President Jonathan is in Brazil to attend the on-going United Nations Earth Summit on Sustainable Development, tagged Rio+20.
Dr Jonathan stated that the first person he called when he arrived in Brazil was the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS) in order to be abreast with developments in the troubled Kaduna and Yobe states.
“We have challenges, but they are not insurmountable. We remain fully focused and committed to national development in spite of sponsored lies against this administration” he said.
“We are ready to work together with all of our people to move the country forward. We will work even harder to place concrete realities on the ground that will further prove our sincerity and commitment to all Nigerians,” he pledged.
The President noted that the earlier individuals and groups, especially opposition politicians stopped playing politics with every decision of government, the better for the country.
“One of the problems we have is that some Nigerians play politics with everything, but we cannot destroy our country because of personal political ambitions” he said.
“We now have a constitutional democracy and no one can stay in office forever. It will therefore be best for our nation if we all support whoever is there for the development of the country instead of trying to pull him down by all means.”
Nothing to lose
Meanwhile the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, to the President Dr. Reuben Abati, has also stated that the nation has nothing to lose with the president’s attendance of the summit in Brazil.
Dr Abati on the side-line of the Rio+20 Summit expressed his displeasure on the criticism that has trailed the president’s departure from the country to PUNCH Newspapers.
“It is as if there is nothing you can do to please our people. It is not that Nigeria is going to lose anything by Mr. President’s presence here rather; the country is going to gain a lot from his presence” he stated.
According to Dr Abati, the president is in Brazil “serving the interest of Nigerians; it is not as if he has abandoned his responsibilities.” “The crisis in Kaduna and Yobe occurred almost on the eve of the President’s departure for this event and commitments have been made.”
The aide also noted that the president’s presence in Brazil for Rio+20 summit at a time violence broke out in Kaduna and Yobe states does not mean the President has abandoned his responsibility, adding that the president met with security chiefs before he left the country and he was confident that security agencies were on top of the situation.
He further explained that the president needed to attend the conference because of its importance to Nigeria and because commitments had already been made on his attendance, adding that his presence at the summit was in the best interest of the country.
“The conference, Rio+20, is very important and nobody can doubt that. The issues that will be discussed at this conference are also issues that are relevant to Nigeria’s interest. It is also an opportunity for Nigeria to promote its interest in terms of its place in global community” he said.
Dr Abati noted that security agencies are aptly handling the situation, saying that “in any event, it is not as if the government has abandoned the situation at home. Security agencies are there, they are on top of the situation.”
“Before the President left, he met with security chiefs. The business of leadership cannot just stop because there is a crisis there” he added.
He appealed to the opposition not to always play politics with everything, as he claimed that “if the President had refused to come to Rio, the same persons (opposition parties) will turn around and say that there is an important conference attended by world leaders and the Nigerian President stayed away from it.”