Saturday, September 27, 2014

We’ll Crush Terrorists, Says Jonathan in Benin
Nigerian newspapers graphic with President Goodluck Jonathan.
Nigerian Mirror
Sep 28, 2014

•Benin monarch gives him highest royal attire

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday promised to crush the Boko Haram sect, the deadly sect that has killed and maimed thousands of Nigerians and other citizens and destroyed countless property in violent attacks perpetrated more in the northern part of the country.

The President made the promise at a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) South- South sensitization and unity rally held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, Edo State capital.

President Jonathan, who was received on arrival at the Benin Airport by his host, Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, and national as well as state leaders of the PDP and senior government officials, flew briefly to Oluku Bye-pass, where he commissioned the rebuilt Benin—Ore axis of the Benin—Ore—Shagamu Expressway.

As expected, President Jonathan also visited the palace of the Benin Kingdom, where he paid the Monarch, Oba Uku Akpolokpolo Erediauwa, a courtesy visit and intimidated him about his imminent return to the palace for his re-election campaign.

Receiving the President, Erediauwa congratulated him for his popular endorsement by the leaders and members of the PDP as an unopposed candidate.

In his eulogy, Erediauwa said he often sees Jonathan in dark-coloured attires that do not reflect sharpness and brightness. He, therefore, advised him to always wear bright apparels henceforth, and thereafter, presented the President with the kingdom’s highest royal robe, called Egbeigbe, reserved for only princes and princesses, as Sunday Mirror reliably learnt.

Speaking later at the stadium, President Jonathan reiterated that he was in Edo State for the sensitization and unity rally. He emphasized that it was not yet time for campaign and promised to return for campaign.

He enjoined all members of the PDP in the geopolitical region to engage in decent and peaceful contests and campaign for the tickets of the party so as not to create enmity “within ourselves.” Particularly, he highlighted the necessity of peace as a pre-condition for electoral victory in Edo and Rivers states in 2015 and beyond.

“These two states have Klegs. So, by 2015, we must get our states back,” Jonathan stated, even as he decried politics of discrimination, victimization and god-fathers.

“Before coming here, I was at Oluku where I commissioned the Benin highway. Even the enemies of this administration have agreed that the PDP government has improved the quality of roads,” Jonathan stated, before highlighting the transformation of other critical sectors such as aviation, agriculture and food security, employment, and poverty reduction, which he added, has seen a reduction of poverty by 50 per cent achieved by his administration.

On the twin issues of Ebola Virus Disease outbreak and insurgency in some parts of the country, Jonathan said, “You are all aware that we conquered Ebola. And we shall surely conquer Boko Haram. Like Ebola, we we’ll defeat Boko Haram,” to which the 40, 000 thousand capacity-filled stadium echoed affirmation and agreement in unison.

Earlier speaking at the point of the road commissioning, the Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolememen, disclosed that the 75 kilometres long Phase 1 of the highway reconstruction project, which is the Benin Ofosu axis, was awarded to Reynolds Construction Company at the cost of N24, 266,157,202.82 billion. He added that the Federal Government recently awarded the contract for the outstanding section of the road from Ajebandele to Shagamu.

The rally brought several leaders and members of the PDP across the six states of the South-South geo-political zone together. They include Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark; Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan; Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Disckson; Cross River State Governor, Mr. Liyel Imoke; and Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji; as well as Akwa Ibom Deputy Governor, Mrs. Valeri Ebe, who represented her boss, Chief Godswill Akpabio.

Others that attended the rally and spoke at different times include PDP National Chairman, Adamu Muazu; Chairman of PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Anthony Anenih; many Senators, House of Representatives members, state lawmakers and heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies of Federal and state governments.

However, Speaker of House of Representatives, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, was absent at the rally. Sources said his absence may not be unconnected with the conferment of the traditional title of Matawallen Sokoto on him yesterday in Sokoto by Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III.

The rally also provided the opportunity for President Goodluck Jonathan and Alhaji Adamu Muazu to formally receive a former chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Tom Ikimi and his followers in the southern geo-political region led by Pastor Osagie Ize-Iyamu and Prince Tony Omoaghe, all of whom had already announced their defection to the PDP before then.

The rally resulted to severe traffic hold-ups all over the metropolitan city of Benin, with concomitant hectic time for security agents that were positioned at different parts of the city. Itinerant traders also took advantage of the rally to make brisk businesses even as heavy downpour heralded the rally, dispersing the thousands of crowd quickly out of the stadium.

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