Former President Goodluck Jonathan has advised Nigerian leaders to make personal sacrifices in the bid to strengthen the nation’s democracy and make the country great.
The former president also gave reasons why his party, the PDP, cannot be defeated in a transparent election in Ekiti State
Jonathan, who stated this Friday night at the inauguration of a flyover built by the administration of Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose in Ado Ekiti, urged leaders to always strive to resist the pressure from unpatriotic elements wishing to subjugate democracy to attain selfish ends.
He was referring to the forth-coming Ekiti governorship elections where the APC bid to unseat the ruling PDP in the state is attracting nationwide interest.
“Since I came in I have been going round the state with the governor. I have seen the support the governor still has, I have seen the support the Peoples Democratic Party enjoys in the State. I have also seen the enthusiasm of our people. I don’t believe anybody can defeat the PDP in Ekiti, if real election is going to be conducted,” he said.
“I use this opportunity to call on Mr. President because I was there before, and I know that when you are there, there is so much pressure on you to use all the powers at your disposal to subjugate democracy.
“Don’t do that because what you go with, at the end of the day, is the good name you leave behind. If you use your powers negatively, posterity will haunt you,” he warned President Muhammadu Buhari.
Jonathan was president in 2014 when Fayose, with, many believe, the help of the military and the office of the then NSA, won the state guber election he contested with then-APC Gov. Kayode Fayemi who is the party’s candidate for the July election.
Fayose is still under probe for collecting billions from ex-NSA Sambo Dasuki months leading up to the guber election.
About good leadership, the former president stated further that he always felt sad each time people said negative things about Nigeria, noting that it has got to a stage where the nation’s neighbours cite the country as a bad example.
“A president of a neighbouring country, Ghana, recently made two negative remarks about Nigeria. First, the current Ghanaian President was addressing Ghanaians about the movement of cattle within their shores and he said openly that Ghana is not like Nigeria where cattle roam freely,” he said.
” That was quite uncomplimentary.”
He added that recently the same President was speaking in the United Kingdom when he made disparaging remarks about Nigeria’s currency.
“If it has got to a level when the Presidents of neighbouring countries will cite Nigeria as a negative example, then we must know as leaders of this country that certain things are not going well, and we must change the way we do things.”
He described Governor Fayose as a man who has the courage to lead his people, noting that he never compromised anything that had to do with the interest of the people of Ekiti State.
“While here, I have inspected the High Court complex that was commissioned yesterday (Thursday). I have inspected the market being constructed. I was a part of commissioning of the new Governor’s Office and I have inspected the office.
“This night I am commissioning the Flyover. Everybody is talking about this flyover which is not just the first in Ekiti State but the first flyover of its kind in Nigeria.
“The resources of Ekiti State is small compared to many other states. It is a feat to have this kind of projects done here. We have to thank the vision of such a dynamic man Ayodele Fayose who is the Governor of the State.”
Mr. Jonathan also commended Fayose in the area of education, stressing that any leader who wanted to develop and liberate his people would first treat education as a priority.
He described Ekiti people as a population that places high value on education.
“Not too long ago we were surprised when Ekiti records in national examinations dropped so low. I was quite pleased when the records improved through the efforts of Governor Ayodele Fayose supported by the Deputy Governor, a university professor that supervised the educational sector,” he added.