FORMER President, Goodluck Jonathan, has stated why the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) cannot be defeated in the forthcoming governorship election in Ekiti State.
Mr Jonathan, speaking at the inauguration of a flyover built by the administration of Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, in Ado Ekiti on Friday, also advised Nigerian leaders to make personal sacrifices in the bid to strengthen the nation’s democracy and make the country great.
The former Nigerian leader said his party, the PDP, cannot be defeated in the coming gubernatorial poll in the state because of the popularity of the incumbent governor.
“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.
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.
“He (Fayose) has done well and has defended and protected the interest of the people of Ekiti State. We are here for infrastructural development. 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.
“Anybody who does not encourage education wants to imprison the minds of the people so that he will continue to subjugate them and exploit them.”
On the need for free and fair elections in the country, Mr. Jonathan 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. I call on Mr. President to use his power to strengthen democracy because all the great democracies we see in the world today were built by people. People make sacrifices to make their country great.”
Making a case for 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. 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.”