President Jonathan Sure Of Victory In Next Saturday’s Election

Agency Reports

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan, on Friday, declared that he would “surely win” Saturday’s presidential election.

The president told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that because his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), “is still the strongest party,” he would emerge victorious in the poll.

“I will surely win it… My party is still the strongest party,” he said.

On violence during his presidency, he said, “Whatever goes wrong, I accept. Whatever goes right, I take the glory. Whenever I hear that somebody dies in Nigeria… I feel pain, because they are all Nigerians.”

Jonathan said he hoped that all territories seized by militant group, Boko Haram, will be retaken within a month.

“They are getting weaker and weaker by the day,” he told the BBC.

But the president admitted the response to the insurgents’ initial advance in the North-East had been too slow.

The army has claimed recent victories over Boko Haram in a conflict that has killed thousands since 2012.

“I’m very hopeful that it will not take us more than a month to recover the old territories that hitherto have been in (Boko Haram’s) hands.”

“We never expected that (Boko Haram) will build up that kind of capacity. We under-rated their external influence. Since after the civil war, we’ve not fought any war, we don’t manufacture weapons, so we had to look for help to re-equip our army and the air force,” the president said.

On the 219 schoolgirls abducted from Chibok, he said, “We have not seen dead girls. That is the good news. I believe they are still alive, I believe we will get them.”

However, at another forum, President Jonathan said that he is not desperate to remain as president, saying that his eagerness to continue to serve the country stems from a genuine desire to serve.

Speaking at the launch of a book, “The People’s Choice: The story of President Goodluck Jonathan,” and written by Reverend Father Charles Imokhai in Abuja, on Friday, he said no prospective political office holders should become desperate about occupying such office.

“My second message is to all of us, especially those of us who are politicians, that for all of us who want to serve, we should ?be ready to serve but we should not be desperate to serve our people.

“Sometimes, people ask me that Mr. President, from what we read and what we see, we see you still smiling and unruffled. Yes, nothing will really ruffle me because I am willing and ready to serve but I am not desperate to serve. That is what keeps me going.

“All of us who want to hold offices from the least, a councillor of a ward or a chairman of a council, a member of the state House of Assembly or member of House of Representatives, Senate, governor or the president, if all of us are always ready and willing to serve our people, but we are not desperate in that our mission, then of course, Nigeria will be a better place for all of us.”

The president observed inaccuracies in the book, though he said some of its contents were not entirely wrong, saying that he would write his own book.

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