While speaking to Northern elders at the state house in Abuja, yesterday January 7th, President Goodluck Jonathan expressed his sadness over recent comments that he hates the people of Northern Nigeria. According to him, elder statesmen who make provocative comments are just mere politicians.
“Some people say Jonathan hates the north; I have heard that statement and I tell Namadi Sambo; `they say I hate the north but you are here as my Vice-President’. I tell the National Security Adviser and my Principal Secretary the same thing. In fact my Principal Secretary (Hassan Tukur) has been my friend since I was the deputy governor of Bayelsa. I never knew I was going to come here as Vice-President not to talk of President. But I have known him since I was the deputy governor of Bayelsa.
My Chief Detail, Yusuf, is from Borno and has been with me since I was a deputy governor in Yenagoa. I see him as a good person and I have carried him along with me. So I had to ask how can somebody wake up and say I hate the north?” he said.
“I feel we must enter the north with aggression through education. Whenever the statistics of school dropouts in the country is released, I’m not happy. The percentage from states in the north is sometimes as high as 50 (per cent) and even more. The last one was up to 70 per cent. I said no, we must change this statistics. Somebody who hates the people cannot talk about educating their children because the people we are educating are the future leaders of this country,” he said
“Some people call themselves statesmen but they are not statesmen; they are just ordinary politicians. Being a statesman is not because you have occupied a big office before but the question is what are you bringing to bear? Are you building this country or are you a part of people who tell lies to destroy this country and to create enmity between people who ordinarily would have been living together? At the appropriate time Nigerians will know all of us even though I know most of you know us but the younger ones do not know. Some people are hiding under some clogs, some big names and creating a lot of problems in this country,”