The Smiling President is hopeful of Nigeria beyond 2015.
The Smiling President is hopeful of Nigeria beyond 2015.

The Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, has urged political leaders to place the overriding interest of the well-being and progress of Nigeria above all other considerations in the coming campaigns and elections.

President Jonathan made the comment on Friday in a message to the nation, as Muslims celebrate this year’s Eid-El-Kabir.

His emphatic message is hinged on the issuance of a formal notice of the impending general elections of 2015, by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

The election is largely seen as a major hurdle that Nigeria must cross and many countries are looking forward to it, with presidential aspirants of different political parties already mapping out strategies that will put them in control.

Since 1999, the Peoples Democratic Party has been in power and the opposition All Progressives Congress is hopeful of grabbing the seat of power.

In the message, President Jonathan stressed that his administration had “done its sincere best in the past four years to implement its agenda for national transformation and move Nigeria forward on several fronts”.

He further extended his gratitude to many individuals, stakeholders, groups, associations, non-governmental organisations, unions and political leaders from across the country who he said had, in recognition and appreciation of his administration’s efforts and commitment to repositioning Nigeria for more rapid growth and development, urged him to seek a second term in office.

Response to call

In what seemed like a response to the calls, he said: “In deciding on an appropriate response to such calls, I will place the greater interests of national harmony, cohesion, unity, security, political stability, progress, equity, justice and fairness above any personal ambition or sectional agenda.

“I urge all other political leaders in the country to do the same. Let us all rise above unedifying, unpatriotic and selfish personal interests and divisive sectional agenda in the coming national elections.

“Let us also commit ourselves more to the sustenance of democracy and political stability which are essential prerequisites for the advancement of good governance, inclusive economic growth and rapid development”.

Building diligently

President Jonathan also pointed out that in spite of the significant progress his administration had made in the past four years Nigeria had continued to face critical challenges in some areas.

“I am convinced, however, that if we persevere and continue to build diligently on what the present administration has achieved, we will surely overcome all hindrances and fully establish a stronger, more united and prosperous nation that meets the aspirations and yearnings of all of our people,” he said.

The President further congratulated all believers who have successfully undertaken the Hajj this year as enjoined by Prophet Mohammed.

He called on all Nigerians to join the Muslin faithful in offering special prayers for greater security, peace, unity and progress of Nigeria and for a peaceful and successful conduct of next year’s general elections.

“As we celebrate the Eid-El-Kabir, let us also rededicate and commit ourselves to the Holy Prophet’s injunctions of piety, honesty, charity and generosity to the less privileged, impartial leadership and true justice for all.

“These virtues and lessons will surely stand our nation in good stead as we continue our journey towards the fulfilment of our founding fathers’ vision of a great nation,” he said.

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