ACN rascals tag: Jonathan says he was quoted out of content

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President Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has claimed that his recent statement quoted as referring to the Action Congress governors in the South West, as rascals has been quoted out of content.

In his usual Facebook page in which he constantly reaches to the nation, President Goodluck said he had meant no arm but rather was dotting the important place of the South West in the Nigerian Federation.

“I had referred here to the fact that unreliable or mischievous behaviours or notions ought not to be acceptable in any part of our body politic especially not in the South-West where the population has had the privilege of a head start in education compared to other parts of the country” he said

Clarifying the statement , he wrote:“The progress of the zone is the progress of Nigeria; It makes perfect sense that such a critical segment of Nigeria is governed by those who have what it takes!

“These were my exact words as accurately captured by the Nigerian Tribune of Wednesday, February 9, 2011…The entire South-West is too important, too sophisticated and too educated to be in the hands of rascals.” Apparently noting that he made no reference to ACN governors as being rascals.

“It is unhelpful to public discourse if we constantly twist words beyond intended meaning. Surely, even the most zealous detractor of the interest of the South West would not desire that anyone would wish upon such a sophisticated part of our country, the activity of unreliable or mischievous intentions”, the President emphasized.

Goodluck and Akala

The full message:

At my zonal presidential campaign rally in Ibadan, Oyo State, last Tuesday, I spoke about the place of the South-West in the Nigerian federation. Without mincing words, I spoke about the level of education and sophistication in the region. In my opinion – and in the opinion of many informed Nigerians – the South-West is of critical significance to the economic and political advancement of the country.

The progress of the zone is the progress of Nigeria. It makes perfect sense that such a critical segment of Nigeria is governed by those who have what it takes! These were my exact words as accurately captured by the Nigerian Tribune of Wednesday, February 9, 2011:

The entire South-West is too important, too sophisticated and too educated to be in the hands of rascals.”

I had referred here to the fact that unreliable or mischievous behaviours or notions ought not to be acceptable in any part of our body politic especially not in the South-West where the population has had the privilege of a head start in education compared to other parts of the country.

It is unhelpful to public discourse if we constantly twist words beyond intended meaning. Surely, even the most zealous detractor of the interest of the South West would not desire that anyone would wish upon such a sophisticated part of our country, the activity of unreliable or mischievous intentions.

In other words, I had indicated that abhorrence for such behaviour should be our proclivity, especially considering the disposition of the people of the Western States to governance standards.

But by laying so much emphasis on the latter part of the sentence we dither profoundly on nuances, and this typifies the general tendency to dwell on the negative which we must, as a country, refrain from.

My qualification of the West as highly educated and sophisticated was easily dispensed with, while the fact that we should not expose such civilized and educated populace to rascality was played more upon, with emphasis on the rascality.

But we easily forget, perhaps because we have neglected for far too long the important role that our educational institutions play in development, that the foundations of our independence movement burgeoned its fruits from the discussions which emanated from the sophisticated “Ibadan School of thought” as the liberal Arts faculties of the then University College Ibadan was then known.

President Jonathan Goodluck and Ex- president Obasanjo

However, as true leadership requires, I take responsibility for any misunderstanding of the context in which my statement was made.

In a time of active politicking, when scoring political points have taken precedence over our overarching goal of nation building, we must not allow those strong bonds which tie us together as a nation, and which brought our people to the streets, for the common cause of seeing that the right thing is done by all and for all the people of our country – an ideal which the western part of Nigeria has always been in the fore-front of aspiring for – to be dispensed with by the mere nuance which we attach to words.

The Western part of Nigeria by my estimation remains a very sophisticated and educated part of our dear country as sophisticated as the cultures in all other parts of our country and unique in its unequivocal stand for justice and equity.

Therefore,as Architect Sambo and I move around the country seeking the mandate of our dear countrymen and women, we shall continue to respect and pay tribute to the hard work and patience of all our people. Our promise of a significant turnaround in the way our country operates and is governed is an article of faith. I made a commitment to Nigerians that our campaign will be about issues and livelihood advancement. I am determined to remain true to this commitment.

In this regard, we made the promise and will zealously deliver on, amongst other things, a stable, constant supply of electricity which will revolutionise the way business is done in our country.

We will pay special attention to the security of lives and property; we will focus on access to good quality health andeducation for all Nigerians and job creation for our youths, for this is the only way we can defeat poverty.

We are focused on delivering on our commitment to agricultural and infrastructural development, the expansion of our economy and the complete transformation of our national security architecture in other to better secure lives and property in our Country.

Let us all insist in building a united nation where justice, equity and the fundamental essence of freedom and democracy is sustained. GEJ

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