Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan’s Facebook statement on independence day attacks and security in South East

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My dear friends and fellow citizens, first let me thank God that we have been able to mark 50 years as a united nation with great potentials. I congratulate all Nigerians once again and thank you my friends for your messages of support to Nigeria and my humble self on my facebook wall. I also wish to thank all dignitaries that attended the events marking our anniversary including the various Presidents who attended in person and the representatives of Presidents and Heads of state who were unable to attend in person.

Having said that, I want to address an issue that many of you have harped on-the security situation in the country.

Dear compatriots, I deeply regret the wicked act of desperation by criminals which led to loss of life during the 50th anniversary celebrations. The intention of those behind this cowardly act is to cast the government, Nigeria and Nigerians in bad light before our friends and well wishers on a day that marked our golden Jubilee celebrations, but let me say unequivocally that we have heard from them and they will soon hear from all of us in the coming days as we fish out those responsible for this horrendous act and bring them to justice. We cannot as a country and as a people be defined by the violent and unpatriotic acts of a few. I want to report to you that I have instructed the security agencies to do the needful and I will give you further details as we know them.

On the issue of insecurity in Abia state specifically and in the Southeast in general, I want you to note that the Federal Government has initiated a security blanket to bring the situation under control. But beyond that, over the months, I have taken time to inform you of the holistic approach we have taken on this issue which includes stimulating economic growth by providing assess to credit including small and large scale finance to the Real and manufacturing sectors to outright bailouts of certain sectors of the economy. These are the long term strategies. On the short term, we are working with the state governments and communities to put these sad events behind us.

I have to be careful with my words, but I want you my friends to be aware that there are those who do not want the emerging new Nigeria to come to be. Some have called them fifth columnist, I will simply describe them as unpatriotic individuals who put the self before our collective interest. When they work to induce situations beneficial to their selffish interest we must tell them that they live in the past. You may recall that in the past some communities have paid too heavy a price for the actions of a few miscreants within their midst.We must at all times not make the innocent to suffer for the acts of criminals. We will fight crime with wisdom, intellect and tact. Where an official is found to have compromised his or her position in the discharge of assigned duties the law will take its course.

Nigerians may recall that it was not our military might that brought peace to the Niger Delta rather it was the sober nationalistic and communal approach of dialogue as driven by our late leader President Umaru Musa Yar’adua that worked to bring peace to the region. That play book that brought peace to the Niger Delta will be applied as appropriate in areas where such will work. Fighting crime must go hand in hand with providing opportunities for employment creation and wealth generation. We will as an administration continue to reduce the social pressures on the people by creatively introducing legislation and funding to open up the country for economic and commercial activities. Attempt to cast the South East as a Kidnap enclave by criminals and unpatriotic elements will be resisted by the force of public good and community policing. Security is not something that I like to discuss in the open. We are investing in equipping the Police to facilitate an expeditious investigation of all cases of kidnapping and criminality that has denied our people their right to freedom. Under my watch no crime will go unpurnished. I will urge you my friends and fellow citizens to be on the alert as we enter this electioneering period. Ultimately there will be people who will seek to gain traction in politicising these issues. They will attempt to force government to over react so that they can then turn around to blame government for overreacting. I assure you that the security of your lives and property is too important for me to play politics with and I will not be forced to react rather I will pro-act. By nature and by my scientific training I have the inclination to be proactive and to begin any project with the end in mind. I do not take knee jerk actions but I seek first to understand them thoroughly and soberly and then I take proactive actions to resolve the situation with the best interest of the public in mind.

I urge you my friends and fellow citizens to remain steadfast. GEJ

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