…Wants Votes To Move Nigeria Forward
TheCable: Are you in good shape for the presidential poll given the fact
that APC has gathered momentum in the last two months?
Jonathan: You should remember the Ekiti governorship election last year.
Before the election, many people were saying APC would WIN by a landslide.
But we in the PDP were busy mobilising the grassroots, going from village
to village, from town to town. The result shocked everybody, apart from us
at the PDP. I am not underrating APC, but I think they are grossly
overrated. We shall meet on the field. That is where we will test our true
strengths. We are fully ready. You will soon see.
TheCable: General Muhammadu Buhari’s popularity is growing, especially in
the south. Isn’t this a big threat?
Jonathan: Let us work with the facts on the ground. PDP currently controls
21 states of the federation. APC has only 14. Of APC’s 14, you and I know
that Imo and Rivers are only APC in the sense that their governors
defected. The people know where their interests are better served. Also,
when it comes to presidential election, Edo is PDP. So essentially, of the
14 APC-controlled states, only 11 can be described as APC. Of course, I
know that not all the PDP-controlled states usually vote PDP in
presidential elections, so you have to concede that one or TWO PDP states
will vote APC in the presidential election. At the end of the day, you are
still looking at 23 or 24 pro-PDP states, including Anambra which is
controlled by APGA…
TheCable: Sorry to cut in, Mr. President, but we are also talking about
figures, not just number of states. APC states like Kano and Lagos have
voters in excess of 9 million.
Jonathan: I’m still coming to that. In 2011, taking that as a baseline for
comparison, I scored 22.4 million votes. Buhari had 12.2 million votes.
That is a difference in excess of 10 million. I do not suppose that you
believe I have lost 6 million votes to Gen. Buhari already, or that Gen.
Buhari has gained 11 million more supporters. Suggesting I will lose a
whole 6 or 7 million votes to Gen. Buhari would be an exaggeration. Let us
even add the votes of ACN which scored 2 million in 2011. Since CPC, ANPP
and ACN have merged into APC, let us say APC had 14 million votes in 2011.
I still defeated all of them with over 8 million votes. Don’t forget that
Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, the ANPP candidate then, and Mallam Nuhu Ribadu,
the ACN candidate in 2011, are now in the PDP.
TheCable: We at TheCable are projecting a larger voter turnout this time
Jonathan: And you think only one party will benefit from a larger turnout?
I will disagree with you on that.
TheCable: We agree that both of you will benefit, but we project that
south-west will decide who the president will be. And APC is the dominant
party in the south-west.
Jonathan: Again, I will not say so. Ekiti and Ondo are already controlled
by PDP. I don’t see APC winning Oyo and Ogun. And from the last
governorship election in Osun, you could see that the gap between PDP and
APC was very narrow, judging from the figures. Other factors will still be
at play and the best you can say for now is that Osun is a tossed-up
state, as Americans call it. The real battleground is Lagos, and if you
have been following events closely, the PDP is reborn in Lagos. Wait and
see how Lagosians will vote.
TheCable: The choice of Professor Yemi Osinbajo as the running mate to
Buhari is seen as a masterstroke. Analysts foresee him delivering the
south-west votes. And as a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God,
this may neutralise the extremist tag on Buhari and bring in the votes of
members of the church. Do you agree?
Jonathan: There is no doubting the fact that Osinbajo has good
qualifications. But, like Gen. Buhari, he has never won an election
before. He has never even been a candidate. So APC has a pairing that
cannot be described as a winning team. That said, you cannot call Osinbajo
a political heavyweight in the south-west. The Yoruba are more
sophisticated than that. In 2011, two of my opponents fielded their
running mates from the south-west. Still, the south-west decided to vote
for me. That tells you a lot about the voters in the south-west. They
cannot be hoodwinked. TheCable: But Osinbajo is a pastor in the Redeemed
Church… Jonathan: Yes. But the presidential candidate of APC is Gen.
Buhari not Osinbajo. And I think we should leave church out of this before
it becomes another talking point again.
TheCable: Buhari’s supporters are very confident that he will win. Are you
not really worried about this?
Jonathan: I don’t think Nigerians will make the mistake of voting for
Buhari. Gen. Buhari, with due respect, is not the right option for Nigeria
at this time. It is a gamble that is not worth taking. I may not be
perfect as nobody is perfect. But I believe that come Saturday, the
majority of Nigerian voters will choose me as the best candidate to lead
the nation forward.
TheCable: For many Nigerians, Boko Haram is an election issue. Don’t you
see this impacting on support for your re-election?
Jonathan: We are not sleeping when it comes to Boko Haram. But we must be
fair and accept that we are dealing with problems we never encountered
before, problems that we were not prepared for as a nation. Nobody would
have predicted this carnage five years ago. We can all be wise after the
event, we can say whatever we like now, but who can sincerely say they
projected that Boko Haram would become like the Taliban in 2009 when the
uprising started in Maiduguri? I hear people say we did not give Boko
Haram the attention they deserved, that we left things too late. That is
not correct. To combat terror, you have to be systematic with your
approach. It is not a conventional warfare. New laws are required to cover
your operations because we never had to deal with terror before. There is
also a different kind of training and personnel required. Operations have
to change from conventional to non-conventional. You cannot use the
equipment of 1984. Even when you buy new equipment, you need to train your
soldiers on how to use it. You can’t do that in one day. Intelligence
gathering has to be firmed up using the latest technology. This will not
happen in one day. Your security architecture has to be completely
different. This is what we have been working on and we are making good
progress. We are getting better every day. We need to encourage our
soldiers who are risking their lives every day. They are human beings like
us. They have parents, wives, sisters, children, brothers. It is not fair
at all to disparage them. It is also not fair to encourage mutiny. You
don’t encourage more soldiers to run away from the warfront. It is not
helpful. We are confronting Boko Haram with all the resources available to
us. We need the cooperation of all Nigerians. When people begin to
politicise the war against terror because they want to win elections, it
undermines our efforts.
TheCable: You used to dominate the social media. What went wrong?
Jonathan: I think we are doing very well on the social media, but we are
focusing our energy more on grassroots mobilisation. Most Nigerian voters
do not participate in social media discussions. The majority of Nigerian
voters are not even on Twitter or Facebook. So we have to get our
priorities right. I have about 1.7m Facebook followers but there are over
68 million registered voters in Nigeria. I am not even sure most of my
social media followers are registered to vote. We are doing door-to-door
mobilisation around the towns and villages. Experience has shown that the
bulk of voting comes from those areas. For every voter on Twitter, you
probably have 100 voters who are not on Twitter. But when you read tweets
and re-tweets, you may get a very wrong view of the reality on the ground.
We have a very good strategy to woo voters. Our opponents have a good
strategy to abuse us on Twitter. Let’s see how far that will take them on
March 28. Obviously, it is not those who make the loudest noise that win
the votes. Sometimes, making so much noise is a strategy to divert
attention from your impending failure. When you lose, you now attribute it
to rigging. APC is very good in that area. It is a strategy they have used
in the past.
TheCable: What’s your reaction to those who say they will not vote for you
because they believe you have not done well so far?
Jonathan: On the issue of performance, I only wish to be judged on where
Nigeria was when I took over and where we are now. Those who are
fair-minded will agree that we have made tremendous progress in so many
areas. For instance, the over 6 million farmers who are now getting
fertilizers and seeds directly and enjoying improved livelihoods won’t
tell you I have not done well. They are saying they have never had it this
good. Fertilizer corruption is gone forever. We’ve introduced dry season
farming. Their harvests have increased exponentially. We’ve improved water
resources across the country, north and south. These are the things that
affect ordinary lives. The transporters who are now plying good interstate
roads will tell you they are happy. For example, the Benin-Ore road that
used to be front page story in newspapers for almost a decade because of
its poor state is now brand new. We have built or rehabilitated over
25,000 kilometres of roads since we came in. The federal government has
35,000 kilometres of roads and only 4,500 were motorable when I came in.
That is a fact. Judge me on that. Millions of passengers who are now using
the revived rail transport system will tell you they are happy. Five
million passengers now use the train every year, compared to less than one
million a few years back. I would like to be judged on that. Foreign
investors have made Nigeria their preferred destination as attested to by
local and international agencies. In the oil and gas sector, our local
content policy has produced a new generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs who
are proudly flying our flag all over the world. That is a fact. That is
progress. Judge me on that basis. We’ve built schools for Almajiris and
the girl-child. These are the vulnerable in the society who were neglected
but are now receiving good education suited to their needs. We’ve
established and equipped more universities to provide for the future of
our youths whose population continues to expand but there is insufficient
capacity to give them university education. We’ve upgraded equipment at
tertiary institutions and continue to retrain lecturers and teachers. No
government has funded education better than us. Our hospitals are better
equipped as we continue to upgrade them and improve the service conditions
of doctors and nurses. They are performing surgeries they never did
before. Our immunisation coverage is unprecedented. Guinea worm infections
are nil today. We are gradually getting over the polio epidemic. Go to the
airports across the country and see the changes that are taking place in
terms of safety and physical development. I can go on. The real voters,
the real Nigerians who will go to the polling units, are happy with what
we have achieved in our first term in office. Millions of ordinary
Nigerians are not deceived by the propaganda of partisan critics. I do not
say that we have solved all the problems. That would be a lie. But the
Nigeria of today is better than the Nigeria that I inherited in 2011. The
facts are there. Our critics should judge us on the basis on what we met
on ground in 2011 and how far we have moved on from there. Is the
agricultural sector worse? No, it is better than we met it. Is the
education sector worse? It is better than we met it. The aviation sector
is better than we met it. The oil and gas sector is better than we met it.
The industrial sector is better than we met it. We’re now exporters of
cement and we will soon start to export cars. The rail sector is much
better. The road network is bigger and better. Inland waterways are
expanded. In fact, our economy is now the biggest in Africa. Therefore,
let our critics judge us on the basis of facts not lies.
TheCable: But the power sector remains a big challenge. Why are we still
unable to attain uninterrupted power supply?
Jonathan: I like to ask people: was it that there was 24-hour electricity
and Jonathan came and switched it off and damaged the equipment? The
answer is no. Power is an age-old problem in Nigeria and we have to
understand that. When I became president, we started the power sector
reform all over again. If you remember, one of the first duties I
performed as president was to launch the Power Roadmap. It was like
starting all over again because of various legal, structural and
administrative issues. Power projects had stalled. The Nigerian
Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) was in a legal tango as a result
of the removal of its management. We had issues with gas supply as gas
pipelines to power plants were yet to be laid. We also had issues with gas
pricing because gas producers would rather export and make more money than
sell locally at a regulated price. There were so many serious issues to
resolve. You cannot decree power into being. You have to take it step by
step with commitment. If anybody tells Nigerians otherwise, they are
lying. The approach we have taken now is the best available to us. We have
gone private. The process has reached a stage that can only go forward.
The power situation is tricky in that until the last dot is connected, we
will not see results. There is generation, then transmission and
distribution. Until everything is sorted out, we will not see the kind of
results we desire. If you build a house and you are yet to paint it or fix
the doors and windows, you can move in and start to live there and
complete the work gradually. But at least you have a roof over your head.
However, for electricity, until you connect all the dots, you can’t get
results. Until the power generated is transmitted and distributed to the
final consumer, you cannot have steady electricity. That is a fact. But we
are moving in the right direction today. I am confident that this will be
one of the biggest achievements of this administration.
TheCable: The issue of $20 billion NNPC affair is still hanging though,
and your handling of corruption cases. What do you have to say on that?
Jonathan: I would have been surprised if you didn’t ask that question.
Have you picked a figure now? The accuser said $49.8 billion was missing.
He then reduced the figure to $12 billion. Now people are talking about
$20 billion missing. Is that the final figure they have arrived at? Why
are people not saying $49 billion again? Ordinarily, the inconsistency in
the figures should have put a big question mark on the entire allegation
itself and questioned its reliability, but because some people have
decided to crucify me, they will hang on to any lie. If the former CBN
governor himself comes out today and apologises that he got his facts
wrong, that no money is missing, these same people will dismiss him. They
will say he has been bribed or he was cajoled to retract his statement.
That is the way some Nigerians have decided to live their lives and there
is nothing I can do about it. I have said it before: no money is missing.
No money has been stolen. The PwC audit has laid all that to rest. It is
impossible to steal $20 billion. There is no proof anywhere that money is
missing. The senate has investigated it. The report is there for all to
see. No money is missing. From the way the whole drama has played out, you
can see that the so-called scandal was a political gimmick. Look at the
sequence of events and all the political associates of the accuser and
your reasonable conclusion will be that it was a scandal cooked up to
smear this government. We are open to investigation. I will not be
president forever. You also spoke about corruption. I am doing everything
within my capacity to fight it. We have removed ministers, we have sacked
top government officials, we have put suspects on trial. But I can only
accuse you of corruption. The moment the case is charged to court, what
more can I do? I cannot be prosecutor and judge. It is not allowed. Many
people have been arrested and charged to court. They go and employ clever
lawyers who play the system to pervert justice. To now turn around and
blame Jonathan will be disingenuous. Nevertheless, corruption is what all
of us who are leaders and followers must resolve to fight. We need a
re-orientation. We need to revive our ancient values. Then we need to make
our system, our institutions work. There is no short-cut to eradicating
TheCable: Many people believe Buhari has the nerve to fight corruption
more than you. Doesn’t that bother you?
Jonathan: You don’t fight corruption with nerve. You fight it with the
instruments of law. You fight it by building and strengthening
institutions. Go to advanced countries. Go to the countries that rank very
high on Transparency International’s corruption perception index. Denmark,
Norway, Sweden, Singapore, name them… They don’t use nerve to fight
corruption. It is not the president or prime minister that fights
corruption in those countries. It is the system. That is why even the
prime minister can be removed and tried for corruption. In Nigeria, some
people want strong men as presidents who will fight corruption as they
wish, as they want and as they please. You cannot sustain that. You cannot
even guarantee that there will be no abuse. When they arrest somebody and
put them in handcuff on national television, we all rejoice. But how long
will that last? What problem does it solve? Has it ever solved any
problem? My own understanding of the anti-graft war is different. I
believe that you must first prevent corruption through administrative and
legal reforms. We have succeeded in the fertilizer subsidy regime. We have
also succeeded in the payroll system. We almost succeeded in the petroleum
sector through deregulation but we unfortunately had to reverse the
decision as a result of politics. When you make it impossible or difficult
for people to steal, you are fighting corruption in a sustainable manner.
The second sustainable strategy is to empower anti-graft agencies. EFCC
and ICPC have been doing their work without any interference from me. They
are charging people to court and they are getting convictions and
recovering stolen funds. These things are in the news every day. Read the
papers. That does not require presidential nerve. It is about institutions
doing their jobs, the same way NAFDAC and FRSC do their jobs everyday
without taking any instructions from Aso Rock. You see, under our laws,
the best a president can do is sack his appointee or employee and then the
EFCC or ICPC will take them to court. There is nothing any Nigerian
president can do beyond that. The rest is left to the court. I cannot jail
anybody. Our laws do not allow the president to jail anybody. The best
Buhari can do is sack people and send them to court. We have gone through
the era of the strongman president. It did not solve any problem. For
those who think corruption is fought with “nerves”, I hope they know what
they are praying for.
TheCable: Alhaji Ibrahim Coomassie, the chairman of the Arewa Consultative
Forum (ACF), recently said you have marginalised the north since you came
Jonathan: Since he is leading the Arewa Consultative Forum, I think Alhaji
Coomassie needs to consult more with the people he leads. He should
consult with the beneficiaries of girl schools, almajiri schools, the
drivers plying the newly dualised roads in the north, the passengers using
the trains, the farmers, and so on. Nigeria is my constituency and I have
to be fair to all, if not I would not have peace of mind. When people were
calling themselves northern consensus candidate some years ago, I called
myself the Nigerian consensus candidate. Most Nigerians are tired of
sectional leaders. They want to see NIGERIA as their constituency because
they have no other country to call their own. The progress of Nigeria is
progress for all. I have not marginalised any part of Nigeria and God
forbid that I do that. My conscience is very clear on that.
TheCable: You have been described by your critics as the most divisive
leader Nigeria has ever had. What is your response to that?
Jonathan: One of my friends told me a Yoruba proverb recently. He said
something like: if a farmer sees a thief in his farm and does not
immediately raise the alarm, it is the thief himself that will start
shouting “Ole!” It is people who have been playing religious and sectional
politics all their lives that are now turning round to accuse me of
playing sectional politics. It is very simple to verify. Look at the
pattern of my appointments, distribution of projects and my close friends.
They are from all over Nigeria. I have been fair to every group in
Nigeria. But this is a story to be told another day. I have never
discriminated against people from other denominations or religions. I fast
with my Muslim brothers and sisters during Ramadan. I have never openly or
secretly incited one section of Nigeria against the other.
TheCable: There are fears that there could be violence after the election.
Asari Dokubo is threatening hell and you are expected to call him to order
but you have not. Why?
Jonathan: We will not allow violence anywhere in the country. That I can
assure you. We are better prepared to prevent and contain violence than we
were in 2011. You will notice that since 2011, there has not been any
post-election violence. As for Dokubo’s statements, he does not speak for
me. But that does not mean he should not be called to order. I’m sure the
security agencies are monitoring the situation. All these threats are
unhelpful. That is how some politicians were saying they would make
Nigeria ungovernable if their candidate did not WIN in 2011. We must
jointly condemn these threats of violence no matter who is making them.
Nobody is bigger than Nigeria.
TheCable: We need to talk about the Chibok Schoolgirls. You were globally
adjudged to have failed to act on time. What went wrong?
Jonathan: A lot went wrong. It is a traumatic experience that comes to
mind every day. I just pray some people will be man enough to come out and
admit their ignoble roles one day. Rather than support the government at
such a trying moment, they capitalised on it to score cheap political
points because of the 2015 elections.
TheCable: Former President Olusegun Obasanjo said if the government had
responded by launching a rescue mission immediately, the girls would have
been back home. Do you agree with that?
Jonathan: Let’s say the soldiers went after the kidnappers immediately.
Remember the terrorists were with guns and probably with bombs. The girls
had become human shields. If the soldiers had gone after them and the
girls were killed by the terrorists, what would have been the public
reaction? The military would have been accused of incompetence and
genocide. The opposition will call for the resignation of the president.
You can always be wise after the event. Look, we were misled from the
beginning on the safety of the girls. We were also misled that they had
escaped from their captors. But we reacted immediately we realised what
was going on. We reacted. We didn’t fold our arms. But when an issue has
been politicised and people are hoping to win elections by riding on the
misfortune of these girls, it is a difficult task for us to convince
Nigerians that we did what we could reasonably do.
TheCable: At some stage, you seemed to believe the opposition was behind
Boko Haram and that probably did not make you deal with them
appropriately. Am I right?
Jonathan: Not me. I have said consistently from the beginning that they
are terrorists. I challenge anybody to produce any evidence where I said
opposition was behind Boko Haram. TheCable: YOUR relationship with Modu
Sheriff, who has been accused of being a Boko Haram sponsor, has also
worried many Nigerians who think you should not be seen in company with
him. What is your reaction to that? Jonathan: Again, we are talking about
hypocrisy. Modu was a founding member of APC. He was in the board of
trustees. He was a financier of APC. Nobody in APC accused him of being
Boko Haram. The moment he crossed over to PDP, he became Boko Haram. All
hell was let loose. This should make it clear to you that they are all
TheCable: Many will argue then that the opposition is better organised
that the ruling party. Is that the case?
Jonathan: They certainly started their campaign for 2015 well ahead of us,
as early as 2011. They wanted to make insecurity and corruption the issues
in the 2015 election and they started their mischief very, very early.
They started by failing to cooperate with me on the war against Boko
Haram. They opposed every move I made. They started demanding that
soldiers be withdrawn from Borno. Thank God I did not succumb to the
blackmail. Borno would no longer be part of Nigeria by now. Maiduguri
would probably have been the capital city of Boko Haram’s caliphate. Thank
God we remained resolute in the face of blackmail and media campaign. They
opposed the declaration of state of emergency. They opposed the ban on
Boko Haram. They started circulating rumours that I was against Muslims.
They accused us of genocide. Go and read the newspapers from 2011 till
date. They did everything to worsen the Boko Haram problem. They knew
where they were going. The opposition also cooked up corruption
allegations against me. Their mischief worked with some unsuspecting
Nigerians. Only God knows how much they say is missing now. I have lost
count. Every day they will say $48 billion is missing, N500 billion is
missing, $1 billion is missing. Some will say N20 trillion has been
stolen. It does not make sense any more. Recently, an APC governor said
$30 billion is missing from excess crude account. By the time you
calculate all that they say is missing, we must be richer than China and
US combined! All kinds of wicked lies. Nothing but mischief because they
want to win elections. They started scandalising anyone perceived to be
close to me, including men of God. I never knew politics could be this
dirty. By nature, I don’t play dirty. I try to be fair. Unfortunately,
people fail to recognise God in their scheming and calculations. No matter
what they throw at me, if God says I will not fall, I will remain
standing. To answer your question more directly, yes the opposition is
better organised in playing mischievous and dirty politics but they will
fail. TheCable: Can we now talk about the minister of petroleum resources,
Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke? Jonathan: Why not?
TheCable: The opinion of many of YOUR critics is that you should have
fired her long ago because of all the scandals surrounding her.
Jonathan: I will tell you something. Any society where the leader acts
based on rumours and conjecture, that is a society that is doomed. Mrs.
Alison-Madueke has not been convicted or indicted of any wrong doing. I
have 42 ministers and 18 advisers. If I act only on rumour, I would have
fired all of them. There is hardly anyone of them that somebody has not
come to say something bad about. Until allegations are proven, I don’t
act. I will not shed any innocent blood to please my critics.
TheCable: There was a statement credited to an aide of Dr Doyin Okupe that
if you lose, you would rather hand over to the military than hand over to
Buhari. Is that your position or will you concede defeat if you lose?
Jonathan: We have passed the stage of military take-over. We are in a
democracy. I have always congratulated governorship candidates when they
win, even when they defeat candidates of my own party. I will congratulate
whoever wins. I am not known for violence. I will never incite people to
start spilling blood because of an election. It is not worth it. My
ambition is not worth the blood of any Nigerian. You see, it is God that
made me president. If God says I will be re-elected, there is nothing
anybody can do to stop me. All the plots against me will fail. All the
lies will crumble. All the hate messages will amount to nothing. God put
me here and if he says it is time to go, he knows best. If he says I will
do a second term, no amount of lies can unseat me.
TheCable: Why was it difficult for you to come out to dissociate yourself
from the divisive and hate mongering advert by Ayo Fayose which was done
as a campaign for you?
Jonathan: I saw the advert like any other person and I don’t think anybody
should hold me responsible for an advert run by someone else. All our
official adverts are run by our campaign organisation. I don’t have power
over what others decide to do. However, I smell double standards again.
Why are you journalists not asking Buhari to come out and condemn all the
personal insults being hurled at me by his supporters in the newspapers
and social media? Do you believe Jonathan should be guilty in everything
under the sun while his opponent is a saint in everything? I don’t think
TheCable: There have been several versions of what transpired in the
meeting between you and Obasanjo at Ota where TWO clerics were reportedly
present. Can you share with us what truly happened… and why is it
difficult for Obasanjo to reconcile with you?
Jonathan: I have nothing but respect for Baba. It was a private
conversation and I will keep it private. If he decides to make it public,
that will be his decision and not mine. On the issue of reconciliation…
Baba is not my age mate. He is Baba to me. I cannot be talking about
reconciliation as if we are age mates who quarrelled. I have no problem
with him but he has been making his views about me known publicly. If you
know Baba very well, he does not hide his feelings. He likes to make his
feelings known publicly. It was the same thing he did with President
(Shehu) Shagari, Gen. (Ibrahim) Babangida, President Yar’Adua. It is
nothing personal. He just has a passion for Nigeria and you cannot deny
him his opinion, even if you don’t agree with his positions on issues. I
would prefer he speaks to me directly and privately like former heads of
state do, but he has his own style.
TheCable: In his well-publicised article, Soludo said you like outsourcing
your responsibilities as president, in apparent reference to the idea of
coordinating minister for the economy. What is your response to this and
who truly is in charge of the economy, you or Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala?
Jonathan: As president, I head a team. I appoint team members and
apportion responsibilities to each person. We hold meetings. They brief
me. They get my approval. Now, this is how government is run all over the
world. You don’t say Obama is not in charge of American economy because he
has economic advisers. Or you say David Cameron is not in charge of UK
economy because he has appointees in charge of various economic
TheCable: Why should you get a second term?
Jonathan: Nigerians need to join me in moving Nigeria forward, not
backward. We cannot go back to the old ways. We are on a project to
transform Nigeria. We have laboured very hard, day and night, to get to
this stage. Today we have the biggest economy in Africa and things can
only get better. Nigeria is a preferred destination for foreign investment
because of our investor-friendly policies. We are implementing an
industrial revolution plan that will help to catapult us on the global
development index. We have embarked on massive infrastructural
development, covering power, rail, roads, water and so on. We’ve embarked
on institutional reforms to be able to fight corruption and deliver
credible elections. We are certainly on the right path. This is not the
time to change leadership. This is the time to consolidate and progress to
the next level. After being privileged to be President of Nigeria for four
years, I understand very well where the shoe pinches and where the roads
are rough. I have taken action to redress the failures in the system for a
smoother journey to the next level. We are very close to cruising now.
Bringing in a new driver at this point can lead to a reversal.