Why I’m yet to visit mosques || Jonathan explains this & more on #PresidentialMediaChat

by Anike Jacobs

President Goodluck Jonathan has explained why he’s yet to visit any Mosque since he began his presidential campaign.

While speaking during a presidential media chat with a select number of pressmen earlier this evening, he explained that he only visits where he is invited to.

“I’m united by different people. I can’t attend ceremonies that I’m not invited to.”

On the postponed elections, the president sought the understanding of the international community over the postponed elections. He said the kind of scenarios where elections are postponed for the sake of perpetuating power is not the case in Nigeria.

“I wish Jega were here, I could have asked him to answer whether I have confidence in him. Yes, those who called for his sack may be close to me, but they express their own opinion. More than 80 per cent of those who sponsor messages on our behalf we don’t even know them. People use the reschedule of election to misinform Nigerians.

“I have never thought about removing INEC Chairman, though I have the constitutional power to do so.”

Pres. Jonathan blamed his supporters for rumours about Jega’s resignation. “I have not told anybody that I will remove Jega,” he said. He explained that if there are obvious reasons to remove Jega, he would rely on “constitutional” provisions that gives him powers to sack whoever he appoints.

On Boko Haram: The president was asked why he thinks the war against Boko Haram can be won in six weeks even though the war had raged for six years. The president said he has just acquired new weapons, and gotten support of neigbhouring countries to fight Boko Haram. He mentioned that Chad waited for African Union approval, which they recently got too. He also mentioned that the issue of security is beyond Boko Haram. The president said it runs into dangerous signals of youth restiveness.

“In the next four weeks Nigerians will see the difference in the security intervention in the North,” he said.

On the missing Chibok Girls: “Just give us some times,” he said. Responding to questions seeking the state of the girls at the moment. The president is optimistic the girls would be rescued with the new military collaboration with neighbouring countries. “I believe the story would be different in a few weeks,” the president said. “We would recover them alive.”

“I believe the story of Chibok girls will get better in the next few weeks, but don’t quote me. We are working with our neighbours, we will comb the whole of that place Partying after abduction? It’s unfortunate that people play politics with the issue of Chibok girls. It’s not like that elsewhere. In other countries, political boundaries collapse in the face of terror attacks, not so in Nigeria.”

With regards to his weakened political base, the president said: “in politics, there are only permanent interests.”

In his closing remarks, president Jonathan assured Nigerians that elections would be conducted and a new president sworn in on May 29. He argued that it is better for INEC to conduct an election everyone would be happy with.

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