by Isi Esene
President Goodluck Jonathan addressed many questions from a posse of journalists today during his periodic media chat which started around 7pm today.
The President answered questions ranging from security, infrastructure, economy, insecurity, chief of which is the bomb blast in Abuja and the abduction of hundreds of schoolgirls from the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Chibok in Borno state.
Here are the 10 most I-can’t-believe-it things you should know from the president’s responses.
– When asked about the location of the Boko Haram group who kidnapped the schoolgirls, President Jonathan said: “I don’t know where they are… there is no confirmation of the location of the schoolgirls, you are a journalist, you know more than me.”
– When asked about the government’s effort to bring the missing girls back home safely, President Jonathan said: “I assure you that we will get the girls out but we can only do it with the co-operation of their parents and guardians.”
– When asked about the attitude of the Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke to calls for her to appear before the House of Representative members over her alleged utilization of public funds in hiring private jets, President Jonathan said: “The Petroleum Minister has appeared before the Parliament for over 200 days [really?]… in the Nigerian Parliament you’ll agree with me that there is more politics than work.”
– While speaking about the differences between the Boko Haram Islamic sect and Niger Delta militants, the President said: “The Niger Delta militants are not terrorists, they have a reason for their agitations.”
– While adding to this statement President Jonathan revealed more saying, “I met [Mujahid] Asari-Dokubo for the first time in the State House. Whenever we [the government] call them they come.”
– President Jonathan tried to explain why no one in his government has dared to go to Sambisa Forest, the Boko Haram enclave like he visited the creeks during the reign of Niger Delta militants saying, “If I go there or send any of my ministers they will just kill you.”
– Mr. President took time out to explain that the insurgent attacks has reduced compared to sometime ago when attacks were a Sunday-Sunday affair, he said: “Even when I’m in church I am monitoring what is happening. Anytime I get reports of an attack somewhere… my face will change immediately… my expression will change. It used to happen every Sunday.”
– President Jonathan compared the Boko Haram terrorist attacks with that currently raging in Pakistan saying: “Pakistan [terrorists] has been fighting terrorism for over 10 years now so it’s not something that a 6 months State of Emergency can solve.”
– He said further, “Anytime I hear of any one Nigerian dies I feel pained… even if it’s a Boko Haram member – I am their president.”
– Mr. President tried
but failed to explain the difference between corruption and stealing. He said, “People have been confusing corruption with stealing. If public officers steal money they term it under corruption….”
And one extra…
– Mr. President wouldn’t dare allow the media chat end without throwing a
parting shot at the suspended CBN Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. While addressing the issue of ‘missing’ $20 billion he said, “If Sanusi hadn’t been suspended he would have come up with a different figure… If anyone steals $50 billion or $20 billion anywhere America will know, they will tell you where it is; it is their money.”