29th September, 2010
President Goodluck Jonathan declared yesterday that he is the most experienced of all theÂ candidates in the race for 2011 presidential elections.
Jonathan said this during an interactive session with women, children, persons withÂ disabilities and the aged at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The forum was held shortly after President Jonathan submitted his expression of interestÂ form to contestÂ the 2011 presidency at the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP headquarters inÂ Abuja.
While reacting to a question from one of those who attended the forum on the securityÂ implications of the presence of heavyweights like former military head of states GeneralsÂ Ibrahim Babangida,(retd), General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), former Vice President AtikuÂ Abubakar and others in the race, President Jonathan said government will not allowÂ anybody to create problems in the country.
He declared that even among the heavyweights, he not only considers himself the best butÂ the most experienced.Â The President argued that unlike the others, he has witnessedÂ governance at all levels.
â€œI see myself as the most experienced of all of them because I have witnessed governanceÂ at all levels. I have been a deputy governor, governor, vice president, acting presidentÂ and now president.
â€œI consider myself as the best. We will not allow anybody to create problems and NigeriaÂ will be safe for everybody,â€ the President assured while re-stating the determination ofÂ his administration to ensure that every vote counts in the 2011 elections.
Reacting to another question from a participant at the forum on the state of education inÂ Nigeria, Jonathan said he is worried at the failure rate being recorded by NigerianÂ students in national examinations.
He also lamented the falling standard of education across all levels in Nigeria and notedÂ that as a result, certificates obtained from higher institutions in the country are beingÂ treated with contempt outside.
â€œI am worried at the failure rate because at the end of the examinations, the statisticsÂ that come out is always terribly embarrassing. I get worried by the result I am seeing.”
Jonathan added that as a result, he has directed the Federal Ministry of Education toÂ organise a stakeholdersâ€™ meeting where the problems will be discussed and a blueprintÂ will be drawn up to overcome it in October this year.
To encourage the participation of people with disabilities in politics, PresidentÂ Jonathan said he will discuss with the PDP chairman on the possibility of giving themÂ forms free to contest for political offices.
â€”Oluokun Ayorinde/ Abuja