Vanguard (Lagos)

21 April 2014

Nigeria: Boko Haram Cannot Break Up Nigeria - Jonathan

Photo: Premium Times
Boko Haram

President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, said those fomenting trouble in the country in the belief that it will lead to its disintegration, would be disappointed, noting no criminal group within or outside the country could disintegrate it.

The President, who spoke when some Abuja residents paid him Easter homage, added that the country would certainly overcome the Boko Haram challenge.

The President said: "Nigeria will disappoint those who are thinking that the country will disintegrate. Despite the challenges, the country will not divide.

"Surely, we will overcome this tribulations. Those who think that this country will be divided into North, South, East and West, or whatever, will disappointed. Nigeria will not divide.

Criminal group

"Boko Haram will not disintegrate this country. Most of you are aware when this incident happened in Nyanya; Nigerians from all religions, from all classes participated in the evacuation of all the people who were affected, even before the security people arrived.

President Goodluck Jonathan and the 'ghosts' Boko Haram

"People came from every where, irrespective of their religious beliefs and persuasions. That shows that there is no criminal group, within or outside this country that can break this country. No criminal group will disintegrate this country.

"Boko Haram will come and go. We have overcome various challenges, God willing, we will also overcome Boko Haram."

Speaking on the unemployment situation and high poverty rate in the country, the President accused state governments of not doing enough to create employment and alleviate poverty.

He called on state governments to work more for their people by applying their resources to alleviate poverty in states, rather than resorting to blame games and depending solely on allocation from the federation account.

"The current revenue sharing formula as recommended by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, indicates that local governments receive 20.6 per cent of the federally collectible revenue, states get 26.72 per cent while Federal Government gets 52.68 per cent

"Many of the states at the moment rush to Abuja every month end to collect their allocations without much to show for them; a situation that has created a challenge in which fiscal federalism in Nigeria has become like a cancer with many states blaming it for their poverty.

"Unfortunately in Nigeria, when you talk about the issues of development, people think that it is only the Federal Government that can solve the problems.

"The states as semi autonomous components of the federation, Mr. President does not control the resources of the states. They completely control their resources, so if all states and local governments can work in concert, we will solve most of our problems instead of blaming one another.

"I believe that government is one even in terms of separation of powers, whether the executive arm of government, the legislative arm of government and even the judicial arm. You talk about one government, it is just separation of powers.

"If all of us work collectively, if all of us are committed to serving the people of this country, surely, we will get to where we are going as a nation," President Jonathan said.

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, who led the FCT group on the visit, commended Nigerians for their response during Nyanya bomb blast and assured that his administration will work hard to ensure that the FCT was safe for all Nigerians

He made a special presentation to President Jonathan and prayed for God's protection for the President, his family and the entire nation.

Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Smart Adeyemi, who was also on the entourage, noted that Easter represented one of the most important events in Christendom.

He said Nigeria was lucky to have a President whose trust was in God, adding that because "we are a nation that trusts in God, Nigeria will abide for ever."

Earlier at a church service at the Aso Villa, Chapel, the Chaplain of the Aso Rock Villa Church, Venerable Obioma Onwuzurumba, urged the congregation to emulate Jesus Christ who laid down his life for mankind.

In his message, entitled, Let's Celebrate Jesus,' he declared that ample evidence existed to show that Jesus Christ resurrected as was shown by the preachings of Apostle Paul, who after persecuting Christians, turned around to preach the gospel of Jesus, testifying and showing proofs that Jesus resurrected.

Some of the dignitaries at the service included the Senator Representing FCT, Senator Philip Aduda, Minister of Youth Development, Boni Haruna, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of power, GodsWill Igali, Dr. Amos Adamu, John Kennedy Opara, Executive Secretary, NCPC, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Edem Duke.

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