President Goodluck Jonathan took his campaign to Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Monday where he described some former National Democratic Coalition leaders in the South-West as hypocrites.
The President, who arrived at the Mapo Hall venue of the campaign at 12.50pm after paying homage to the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Samuel Odulana, had in his entourage the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Adamu Mu’azu, members of the National Working Committee of the party, the Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, Mrs. Jumoke Akinjide and other National Assembly members.
Also present were the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Olisa Metu; the Director General of the National Campaign Organisation, Dr. Ahmadu Alli; the Director, Media and Publicity of his campaign organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode; the party’s governorship candidate in Oyo State, Teslim Folarin and other party stalwarts.
While calling on the South-West leaders to justify their leadership style and love for the people, Jonathan said that instead of building prisons for the youths, he would build schools for them.
He said, “I did say that the South-West reminds one of the days of the National Democratic Coalition. But I am convinced that some of the NADECO actors are hypocrites, because they cannot justify what they are doing today. The South-West believes in human rights and social justice. No south-westerner will pray that someone who does not go through proper trial will be jailed for 300 years and above. If they are not hypocrites, they couldn’t be doing what they are doing today, but I don’t want to go into that now. If they are not hypocrites, they will not be talking about not empowering women.
“Without education, you cannot change people. If I did not go to school, I will not be where I am today. Every Nigerian child must have the Goodluck opportunity; that is why we are building out-of-school children secondary schools and Almajiris schools in some parts of Nigeria. I will not build prison for you but I will build schools for you.”
On the issue of corruption in government, Jonathan said that his administration had tried and jailed many Nigerians but it would not solve the problem. He explained that the problem would be solved through modern technology rather than harsh approach.
He said, “On the issue of corruption, let me reassure Nigerians that my commitment and method of solving the problem of corruption is not the number of people I tried and jailed. We have tried more Nigerians; more Nigerians have been jailed within this period after passing through due process. But I have told people that if I try 10 million Nigerians and jail five million for corruption; that will not solve the problem. We must use modern technology to prevent people from stealing, and that is what we are working on. If you vote me in again, the day I will leave after four years, the next president will not have to tackle corruption because we will use technology to block areas where people are corruptly enriching themselves. We are no longer in the analogue generation, I will solve corruption problem in this country.”
The President also used the opportunity to tell Nigerians that if voted in, his administration would give more opportunity to women in government, saying that women’s place was not in the kitchen or creating babies all the time.
He said, “We must continue to encourage women in politics. We have been told by some political parties that they will not encourage it. They said they would scrap the office of the First Lady at the federal and state levels. They said they would scrap the Office of the Council Chairman’s wife, the Defence Officers’ Wives Association, the Army Officers’ Wives Association, the Naval Officers’ Wives Association, the Air Force Officers’ Wives Association and the Police Officers’ Wives Association, but having served as deputy governor, governor, Vice President and now President, I can tell you that these offices are helping to mobilise our women. The money they spend is coming from non-governmental organisations. We send our daughters to big schools but do we then sentence them to become baby factory workers and yam pounders? I don’t believe that Nigerian women are designed to pound yam or be manufacturing children only and do nothing more. Women are as endowed as men and they will continue to be in top position in our government. I have told Nigerian women that their 2015 votes are to liberate them or imprison them in kitchens.”
While thanking the Ibadan people for coming out in large numbers to welcome him, Jonathan said that after meeting the Olubadan, he was convinced that the city deserved an international airport. He promised to act on the request by the monarch.
“The Olubadan has requested that we change the Ibadan airport to an international airport. Let us complete this one first and the next step will be taken but I assure you that Ibadan deserves an international airport. I have also promised that Ibadan dry port, meant to decongest Lagos port, will be looked into.”