Despite Challenges, Nigeria’s Future Is Bright – Jonathan

Goodluck JONATHANPresident Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday assured Nigerians that despite the challenges confronting the nation at the moment, Nigeria will get to the Promised Land.

The President, who participated in the first Sunday of the year service at St. Stephens Anglican Church, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, acknowledged the huge potentials in all parts of the nation.

In his brief remark, President Jonathan said his administration would continue to tap into the potentials in order to move the nation forward.

He expressed optimism that the nation’s future was bright, despite the bumps and challenges.

He used the opportunity to thank the church and Christians for praying for the nation, acknowledging that “this period is a challenging one for the whole world”.

“I thank you for your prayers, especially at this period. This is a period the world is passing through challenges.

“We have a lot of potentials and I see a bright future for the country. Despite the challenges and bumps, Nigeria will move on and get to the promised land,” he said.

In his earlier sermon, the officiating pastor, who is the Bishop of Ogbia Diocese, Reverend James Aye Oruwori, urged the congregation to avoid committing sin and strike a strong covenant relationship with God to be able to fight all their battles. He used the example of David and Goliath in the Bible, saying that David’s strong covenant with God gave him victory.

He urged Nigerians to remain calm ahead of the upcoming general elections, pointing out that God had already taking a decision on the outcome. He said no one could alter the decision.

“God has written his decision on the next election, no one can change it. He wrote the decision long ago. Election is the biggest thing we are expecting this year, we must stop exhibiting fear. We should be calm and abide by God’s decision,” he noted.

Present at the service were Governor of the State, Henry Seriake Dickson, his wife, Dr Rachael Dickson, deputy governor, John Jonah, chaplain of Villa Chapel, Reverend Obiona Owuzurumba and other Presidential aides.

2015 Elections Will Hold In All States Despite Security Challenges – Jonathan

SataPresident Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria has allayed fears that elections may not hold in some states in Nigeria, giving the assurance that all states, including those in the volatile north-east, will take part in the 2015 elections.

The President gave the assurance in Abuja on Thursday morning while delivering his acceptance speech after the Peoples Democratic Party ratified his choice as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2015 election.

He was given the party’s ticket after he polled 2,812 ‘YES’ votes to get the needed support from the 3,073 party’s delegates at the National Convention held at the Eagles Square in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

President Jonathan had earlier been chosen as the sole candidate of the party, a development that did not go down well with some members of the party who had the intention of vying for the ticket.

Stakeholders in Nigeria’s political sector have expressed fears that election may not hold in the volatile north-east that had been under siege.

A terrorist group, the Boko Haram, has carried out most of its attacks in the region.

The terrorist group demanding for an Islamic State and an end to western education has  continued to carry out attacks on schools, villages, towns, churches, mosques and other public places in the region.

Six persons were killed on Wednesday in a latest suicide bomb attack on a market in Kano State in north-west Nigeria.

In his acceptance speech, President Jonathan accepted the nomination as the PDP presidential candidate, assuring his supporters and Nigerians  that he will not let them down.

He also announced Vice President Namadi Sambo as his running mate in the election.

“The 2015 elections will hold in all the 36 states of the Federation,” he said.

He observed that the convention of the PDP that brought him as the presidential candidate was held on Human Rights Day and reiterated that no Nigerian would go on exile for holding contrary views under his administration.

The President further enumerated his achievements in the last four years and promised to serve with more humility and firmness when  voted into power again.

President Jonathan also emphasised that no one’s political ambition was worth the blood of any Nigerian.

The PDP’s National Convention was held to also ratify the appointment of its national chairman, Mr Adamu Mu’azu and also fill two other positions in the National Working Committee – National Secretary and National Auditor.

 

Jonathan Assures International Community Of Peaceful 2015 Elections

The Nigerian President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, has assured the international community that the 2015 elections will be peaceful, free and fair.

The president’s re-assurance comes at a time the country is experiencing heightened political developments, as politicians focus on gaining grounds ahead of the 2015 election.

At a New Year cocktail held on Thursday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for members of the diplomatic community, President Jonathan solicited the support of the international community in the conduct of the 2015 elections.

He urged the diplomats to ensure that their countries participated in the nation’s centenary celebration.

Dr Jonathan said that the high point of the centenary celebration would take place in February 27 and that the government had already extended invitations to various countries.

President Jonathan expressed gratitude to some nations which rendered logistics and other supports to the nation in the fight against terrorism.

“The world should, in 2014, place priority attention to sustaining efforts at conflicts resolutions through dialogue and fight against terrorism,” he said.

The dean of the Diplomatic Corp and the High Commissioner of Cameroon to Nigeria, Mr Abbas Salaudeen, thanked the president for the interaction and for taking out time to interface with them.

Salaudeen said that despite internal challenges, Nigerian forces were currently present in eight countries keeping peace.

He urged the president to continue with the positive steps in placing Nigeria high in global records.

More than 40 ambassadors and high commissioners attended the event.

U.S. Consul-General Urges Nigerian Youths To Take Responsibility For 2015 Election

Nigerians have again been advised to safeguard democracy and ensure that the country has free and fair polls in 2015.

This charge is from the U.S. Consul-General in Lagos, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins, who was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Hubert Humphrey Annual Lecture, which held at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos.

Delivering the keynote address at the lecture which had as its theme, ‘The Democratic Journey in Nigeria, Learning From the American Experience’, Mr. Jeffrey Hawkins said the lecture was not meant to praise the US democratic system but an opportunity for Nigeria to learn from its shortcomings.

“As you all know for example, my country just went through a 2 week government shutdown, where civil servants were forced to sit home while all but essential government services ground to a halt. Many observers in the United States and overseas asked themselves how and why this could happen in one of the strongest democracies in the world.”

Speaking on Nigeria’s democratic process, he said “in 2015, Nigeria again will go to the ballot box and I call on the young men and women here to explore the abundant resources and great opportunities in the nation to take up responsibility to make your voices heard for peace and progress, to project a powerful voice against corruption, advocate for positive change, and provide generational insight on development issues.”

The chairman of the occasion was the National President of the Nigeria-America Chamber Of Commerce (NACC), Mr Sam Ohuabunwa, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Olabintan Famutimi.

The Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship Programme is a programme for mid-career professionals, sponsored by the US State Department. The 2013 edition had professionals, security officials, diplomats, and students in attendance.

2015: TMG Advises INEC On Election Programmes Scheduling

The Transition Monitoring Group has advised Nigeria’s national electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to stop having party primaries take place at the same time as the voters registration process, as part of plans to ensure the 2015 elections are credible.

The chairman of the Transition Monitoring Group said this in Abuja while delivering a report on the continuous voter registration in Anambra state in preparation for the 2013 governorship election.

He said the electoral commission carried out the exercise in an efficient manner but pointed out the need for more public sensitization and political party involvement in the exercise.

Channels TV Joins Hillary Clinton’s Last Global Townterview

Channels Television on Tuesday flew the African flag in the live and last ‘Global Townterview’ with outgoing US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

The Secretary of State had her 59th Global ‘Townterview’ at the Newseum in Washington DC, her last in which she engaged young people around the world including young Nigerian professionals who were gathered inside ChannelsTV studio for the live interaction.

The event which was streamed live on the internet on YouTube had in attendance BBC London, MBC Beirut Lebanon, NDTV, New Delhi, India, NHK Tokyo, Japan, NTN24 Bogota, Colombia and representing Africa was Channels Television from Nigeria.

Nigeria’s 2015 Election

When Channels TV correspondent Maupe Ogun, asked the outgoing Secretary if she can pinpoint any African country that has strived to develop its institutions as President Obama advised in his speech when he visited Ghana in 2009, Mrs Clinton replied; “both politically and economically, I see progress happening in Africa.”

She described the successful transition in Malawi and the peaceful re-election of Ellen John Sirleaf in Liberia and the just concluded election in Ghana as big moves that showed that the countries are building their political institutions and the voice of people are hearkened to.

“Nigeria is a very important country in Africa and even the world. It really matters how well the next general election goes. Whether it is free and fair. It really matters whether the endemic corruption is finally pursued. So it is important that everybody in Nigeria does not feel like they are going to be left out” she stated.

The crisis in Mali is one issue Madam Secretary spoke passionately about; she noted how important it is for peace to rain in the country and the region as a whole.

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s feat in the first four years of the Obama administration cannot be over-emphasized and this has aroused speculations if she would be running for president in the next US election.

But responding to a question on her plans for the US Presidential in 2016, she responded that “I am not thinking anything about that now. I am working on concluding my tenure as the Secretary of State. I am also working on my 20 years of sleep deprivation.”

When two uniformly dressed radio dee-jays from Australia asked her what she would advise anyone to include on their CV to appeal for her office, the former First Lady of the United States cheerfully stated that “education, good looks and ability to meet people are the essentials needed to be a Secretary of States.”

The Townterview is a mix of a town hall and a television interview. The concept was first introduced by the Secretary when she entered office as a way to broaden people to people engagement.

Mrs Clinton is expected to resign as the US Secretary of State on Friday, 1st of February.

Former aspirant to White House, Senator John Kerry, was on Tuesday, confirmed as the next US Secretary of State.