The campaign train of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on Tuesday hit Ekiti State with the president assuring Nigerian youths of better days if he is reelected.
The president also denounced the All Progressives Congress (APC) mantra that the 16 years of PDP governance had been wasted years, saying those making the comments were only being economical with the truth or jealous of the PDP’s achievements in the country.
The president, who dissected the achievements of his administration and his chances during the February presidential election, stated that the PDP has been able to redefine politics and governance, which were being erroneously interpreted to mean lying to the populace before the advent of the party.
Jonathan spoke at the venue of the campaign rally held at Oluyemi Kayode stadium in Ado Ekiti, where thousands of party supporters had gathered to shore up support for his candidacy.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Ekiti State, Mr. Ayodele Fayose, his Ondo State counterpart, Olusegun Mimiko, and the National Chairman of the PDP, Dr. Adamu Mu’azu, asked Nigerians to tell Gen Muhammadu Buhari, to make public his academic credentials for him to be trusted as somebody that is equipped for the job.
Fayose, who flaunted his certificates to the mammoth crowd owing to allegation from the opposition APC that he didn’t attend any school, told Nigerians to reject any president without sound education and health to drive the economy of the country better than what President Jonathan has offered.
President Jonathan assured Nigerians that he had set up a presidential Jobs Board, chaired by Vice-President Namadi Sambo to develop a framework through which two million Nigerian youths can be gainfully employed annually.
He said he was not oblivious of the social ills that abound in allowing over 1.8 million young graduates being injected into the labour market annually remain economically redundant, assuring that his next tenure would focus mainly on youth development and empowerment.
He said: “The next generation of our youths should be employers of labour rather than job seekers and that was why we developed the you-win programme to attract youths into mechanised farming and Small Scale Enterprises, where they used to get loans to set up their own businesses.”
President Jonathan had earlier paid a courtesy visit to the palace of Ewi of Ado Ekiti, Oba Rufus Adejugbe, where the Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers in the State, Oba Adamo Babalola, described the President as a good man, who can be trusted with power.
Early in the morning, major roads within the capital city witnessed heavy presence of combined forces of the police, State Security Service, Traffic Wardens and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps.
The Police Commissioner, Mr. Taiwo Lakanu and the Director of State Security Service, Mr Samuel Tamuno, also deployed several patrol vans conveying heavily armed operatives, who moved round Ado Ekiti to ensure orderliness.
The president said his government has been able to contribute to the educational development of the state through the establishment of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti, knowing full well that education has been the most thriving industry among Ekiti citizens.
Speaking further, Fayose said: “Buhari is the candidate of Ahmed Bola Tinubu and not the candidate of the North as being claimed by APC. Anybody who wants to rule must have the requirement. Let Gen Buhari flaunt his certificates. They want to foist a weak president on Nigeria, so that they can corner us the way they are cornering Lagos State.
“Minority must be given freedom in Nigeria. They have to be given recognition and that is why Jonathan must complete his eight years. You know when the Niger Delta people strike, you can imagine the effects on the economy of the country,” Fayose pointed out.
Speaking against the well publicised notion that President Jonathan has not done enough to stem the tide of corruption, Fayose said : “The power of the President stops when the suspect is arrested. But anytime he is in the court, he cannot interfere in the judiciary because it has to be independent.
“Corruption has been endemic in Nigeria before Jonathan came on board. Corruption is like terrorism . It will be wrong for anyone to accuse President Jonathan of not confronting corruption, when it isour collective responsibility to do this with our patriotic zeal,” Fayose said.
Commenting further on corruption, Governor Mimiko and the PDP National Chairman added that personal integrity would go a long way at bringing Nigeria out of the scourge, urging Buhari to disclose to Nigerians whether he has certificates or stop deceiving Nigerians. In another development, the APC warned Governor Fayose to stop dragging the state civil servants into politics, saying such is dangerous to neutrality and professionalism in the civil service.
The party praised the civil servants who acted professionally by raising objections to the plan by the governor to drag them into politics, saying that by maintaining their professional integrity, they had demonstrated that their loyalty belonged to the state and not individuals holding political positions.