Warns Leaders Against Using Privileged Positions to Oppress, Create Hardship for People.
Immediate past Nigerian President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is uncomfortable with the antagonism between the Southern and Northern Governors’ Fora, which escalated following the recent meeting by the Southern Governors at which they announced a ban on open grazing in the region, and took positions on other thorny national issues. Jonathan, who spoke in Benin, Edo State on Sunday after gracing the 50th birthday anniversary of Charles Osazuwa, a pastor, and General Overseer of Rock of Ages Christian Assembly International, RACAI was worried that “that will not help our country”.
President Jonathan also warned leaders and privileged Nigerians against using their positions to oppress, punish or create hardship for the people, stating that such positions are temporary. Jonathan, who threw his weight behind the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF opined that the Forum remains the best platform to discuss issues affecting Nigeria. Describing as “uncalled for” the antagonism between the Southern Governors’ Forum and their Northern counterparts over the Asaba meeting by the former last Tuesday, Jonathan said “I don’t really enjoy the antagonism between governors; they should come together and discuss. If there are issues that are affecting one or two states, I think the governors should see how they can collectively come up with a way to address those issues” he counseled.
According to him, “Governors themselves should continue to meet. I don’t really love a situation where the Northern governors will meet then the Southern governors will cry foul. Then the Southern governors will meet, then the Northern governors will cry foul; that will not help our country. The governors, through the Governors’ Forum, should meet. They are the people who run this country; the President is just one person in Abuja”.
Jonathan submitted that the coming together of all the governors in a round table to discuss and proffer solutions to issues affecting Nigeria would go a long way in helping the president to address some of these issues, adding that “the states, especially in a country where the local governments are very weak, it’s the states that people fall back to. So if the governors of the states meet and dialogue, interrogate things that are good for this country, then we will move forward”.
Cautioning leaders and privileged Nigerians not to use their positions to oppress the people, he said the warning became imperative because positions are temporary, hence leaders must learn not to use the positions to punish people as they would only be remembered for the impact they made on the society.
He noted that some of the things he did as president “are still being talked about today, and I believe that any position I occupy should not be used to cause the death of anybody. Any position I have occupied which were by divine providence, it was my belief that it should not be used to create hardship for the people”.