President Goodluck Jonathan has once again promised that the 2015 general elections would be free and fair. Jonathan said that there was no alternative to fair election, given the premise that there could not be peace without justice.
The President, who spoke yesterday at Mpu, Enugu State, said it was almost impossible to guarantee good governance without free and fair election. According to him, it is the level of political manipulation that breeds bickering among politicians.
The President was at Mpu, Aninri Local Government, for the dedication of the All Saints Anglican Covenant Church built by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu. Jonathan said his administration was determined to make a difference in the lives of Nigerians. He said: “You cannot talk about good governance where the elections of people are manipulated; you cannot steal a mandate and turn round to say that you can govern well.
“Lawyers will say you can’t build anything on nothing. If your coming to power from councillorship to Presidency is based on manipulation, there is no good thing you can do there.
You cannot go and celebrate. “First and foremost, people must vote for you and you cannot talk about doing something good without their support. “It is actually during the military that they use big guns to overthrow those with small guns and take over. In the political dispensation, you must be properly elected, we must make sure that electoral processes are sanitised and the votes of Nigerians count.
“I know the kind of statement people make each time we leave here to other places; sometimes I feel so humiliated, and now the story has changed. “What I can promise Nigerians is that with your prayers, we have our challenges no doubt, but most countries have their challenges, that we will make those little changes that will make a difference in our lives.”
Jonathan decried the tendency of Nigerians to abandon the country for others because of the challenges confronting it, stressing that building a virile future was the collective responsibility of all and sundry. He said: “If we leave Nigeria and go elsewhere where we have all kinds of friends who may use business passports that can give you automatic entry into countries, but they still regard you as a Nigerian.
You cannot fit in properly until you come home. “We have talked about building the church, let us join hands and build a nation that our children, grandchildren and Nigerians unborn will be happy, irrespective of provocation and political differences.
“Just like the primate said, every leader comes and goes but as a leader, you pray that you leave behind something solid. If we progress from here, the whole country becomes highly developed.” The President praised Ekweremadu for building the church, which he likened to the one built by Solomon for God in the Bible.
Primate of the Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Nicholas Okoh, in a sermon, said the Nigeria’s problems were intractable because of human manipulation, adding that her people had not used her numerous religions to build an enterprise that could impact on development