Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday in a presidential media chat with a number of the press in Abuja talked about several trending topics in the county including the recently postponed general elections, Boko Haram, Corruption, alleged plans to fire the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Chairman Prof. Attahiru Jega and moves to extend his tenure if he receives an unfavorable result at the March 28 presidential election.
Watch the Presidential Media Chat Video below:
On his role in general elections postponement:
“I was not consulted and I don’t want to be consulted.”
On insinuation that he is desperate to remain in power:
“Let me assure Nigerians that a new government will be formed on May 29.They should not be perturbed about rumours that we are planning to send Jega on a terminal leave and other rubbish that is being circulated.
“In 2011, I said I will conduct a free and fair election and that if I lose, I will happily move on and that it should be recorded.
“Then I just concluded the late President Umaru Yar’Adua’s tenure. I said I will be happy to go if I lose. I said this nation is more important than anybody. Anyone who wants to hold the office of President and feels he is more important than the nation is not right.
“So if as of 2011, I made a commitment that if I lose I will go, it should tell you more about my stand on free and fair elections.
“But now, Nigerians have given me the opportunity to be here for four good years and so if the elections are conducted and I lose, of course, we will inaugurate a new government.
“The rumour that I will not hand over or that I am scheming to prolong my tenure are insinuations; they are not true. Those are insinuations; it is quite unfortunate that so much wrong information is floating in the system.”
On alleged rumors to fire INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega:
“I have never thought about removing INEC Chairman, though I have the constitutional power to do so.
“I wish Jega were here, I could have asked him to answer whether I have confidence in him Yes those who called for his sack may be close to me, but they express their own opinion. More than 80 per cent of those who sponsor messages on our behalf we don’t even know them. People use the reschedule of election to misinform Nigerians.”
On Boko Haram & the group’s impact on the elections:
“In 2011, when the elections were conducted, we had Boko Haram. Boko Haram started before 2007 but became a major problem when their leader was killed in 2009. Nobody is saying we must wipe out Boko Haram completely before conducting elections.
“We said that security wise, there are certain things that they need so that they can consolidate on the security architecture; so that we can conduct elections but in the next six weeks, security advancements will be made but we cannot say we will wipe out Boko Haram. At best we can only regain territories.
“When they started, they were not taking over territories; they were going to markets and using suicide bombers. Elections will hold and I don’t see why we should continue to doubt the inauguration of next President in May.”
On the Abducted Chibok girls:
“I believe now that we are working with Chad and Cameroon, in the next few weeks, the story of the Chibok girls will change. It’s going to get better.
“I believe we should be able to rescue some of them. But I don’t want to be quoted, I don’t want you to say the President said so, that in two weeks time or in four weeks time, I cannot say that because the disappearance of those girls has taken quite some time.
“But we have mapped out strategies, we are working with our neighbors and we will comb all the areas. So, just give us sometime.”