…On 2023: Too early to ask if I will contest
By Victoria Ojeme
Former President Goodluck Jonathan has said that Nigeria’s unity is questionable. Jonathan also said it was too early to ask if he will contest the 2023 presidential election or not.
He spoke amid the controversy that he may be a potential contender in the 2023 election during an exclusive command performance by the Port-Harcourt Male Ensemble International tagged ‘Peace for All Nations’ at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja.
Some northerners are said to prefer him running in 2023 since he will be entitled to only one more term after his exit in 2019 to facilitate the return of power to the North in 2027.
According to him, as a former President who had been vice president and president for eight years and equally played at the state level as a deputy governor and governor for eight years in the slums of the Niger Delta, he knew what is the meaning of peace.
Jonathan also said it worried him every day when he looked at the issues bothering the country as a nation.
He stated that Nigerian youths sometimes engaged in all kinds of confrontation, recalling his conversation with one of his friends.
“And I was discussing with somebody, one of my friends and I said look, in Nigeria, they appear not to even have a national youth body. Because in most cases, the regional youth bodies are stronger than the national youth body.
“Ordinarily, the national youth body is supposed to be stronger than the regional youth body. If you go to my state, Bayelsa, for example, if I am a national member of the Nigerian Youth Council, the IYC, Ijaw Youth Council, feels that they are your boss.
“If you go to the Southwest and to the North, the Arewa Youth Group, they feel they are superior to the national youth body.
“If you go to the Southwest, the same thing. If you go to the Southeast, the same thing. That shows clearly that as a nation, we are in trouble. The unity of the country is questionable,” Jonathan said.
Focusing on the event, Jonathan further said: “So, when you see young people come together to perform with the theme: ‘Peace for All Nations,’ I am quite impressed.”
Asked to comment on the way forward regarding the insecurity bedeviling the country, Jonathan said Nigeria was not the only nation affected by insecurity, adding that the whole world was facing insecurity because of the excesses of terrorists.
He said the Nigerian situation was somehow unique as the country felt it everyday, even as he said he believed the government was doing their best.
“I was there before and of course, you know there was a lot of insecurity. So, I am the very wrong person to make comments on the insecurity in the land.
“All what we can do is to collectively support the government, encourage the soldiers and other security operatives to do more for our safety,” Jonathan stated.