PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday, in State House Marina, Lagos met with the Yoruba Elders Council (YCE) with a call on Nigerian politicians to put the country’s unity and stability ahead of their personal or political ambitions.
He observed that the country must exist first for anyone to be able to aspire to be president or vice president or any other political office for that matter.
Jonatan said: “No matter what we want to do, that is those of us who are aspiring to run this country or even at the state level, first and foremost, you must have a country.
“If we don’t have a country there will be no office to hold; whether it is the office of the President or office of the Vice President or office of the minister or whatever office, there must be Nigeria first.
“My position is that let us all collectively defend and protect this country and that is why I always feel bad when people make statements that expose Nigeria as if it is the worst country on earth. We are not that bad.
“Yes we have issues in this country. Even issues of security, like this Boko Haram, because we are managing a very delicate situation.
“Sometimes people define Nigeria by the Boko Haram. Nigeria cannot be defined based on Boko Haram alone. There is terror all over the world.
“We have unfair share of the terror. But luckily with what is happening now, I tell people that in the next two to three weeks, this story will change because we have got the equipment that we can withstand the excesses of the Boko Haram.
“That is why these few days you will see that the movement. We don’t want to say much. It is going on gradually.
“My belief is that in the next three weeks or so if we don’t completely take over all our territories, we would have handled the Boko Haram to the extent that it will no longer be a problem to the elections that will come up.”
The President spoke about his administration’s achievements so far, telling the Yoruba elders that measures had been put in place to improve all sectors of the the country’s economy.
He added that under his watch, Nigeria has been declared the largest economy in Africa and the preferred destination for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI).
According to him, in spite of the challenges in the country, food prices had remained stable while the health sector received a great boost.
He also said the administration had eradicated guinea worm, pointing out that the World Health Organization (WHO) would soon declare the country polio-free.
Jonathan further stated that his administration displayed exemplary leadership by pulling all the states together to battle the Ebola virus disease outbreak.
The president promised that if re-elected, he would carry the elders along in all his programmes and to commence a quarterly meeting with the six geo-political zones to further move the grassroots forward.
In his remarks earlier, the President of YCE, Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo (retd) commended the President for the quality of leadership he is providing for the country and prayed for a violence-free elections.