15th March, 2011
A major endorsement for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan came from the four Emirate Councils in Kebbi State today as the Emir of Gwandu, His Royal Highness, Maj. Gen. Muhammad Illiyasu Bashar described him as a God-ordained leader, saying the entire emirate councils are solidly behind him and will never do anything to divide the country.
Speaking on behalf of the four emirate councils in Kebbi State namely Gwandu, Argungu, Yauri and Zuru, whose emirs were all in attendance when he received President Jonathan and the PDP presidential campaign train on courtesy visit today, Gen. Bashar noted that so much has been sacrificed especially during the civil war to keep the country united, and therefore the emirate councils will do everything possible to sustain the peace and unity of the country.
â€œI welcome you Mr. President on behalf of the entire traditional institution and people of Kebbi State to the Abdullahi Fodio palace on your mission to become president once more by the grace of God. You were deputy governor and governor of Bayelsa, vice president of this country and by the grace of God you will become the president.
â€œGod has made you all you are, and He will give you what you want. On our part, we are in support of you, we will continue to pray for your success, and for the peace and unity of this country.Â Nigeria fought a civil war and blood was shed for the purpose of unity. We will continue to do everything possible to ensure that this country is united.
“My blood was shed in Bonny, so I cannot afford to do anything that will divide this country. Mr. President, we are solidly behind you because we stand for the peace and development of this country,â€ Gen. Bashar said.
The Emir expressed deep gratitude to President Jonathan for personally coming to inspect flood ravaged areas in Kebbi State last year and for the Federal Governmentâ€™s relief package of N750 million to the affected states, saying â€œthat was a gesture we will never forget as it shows your concern for the people whom God has given you to lead.
â€The Emir also commended President Jonathan for his concern and action in the education sector, which he noted informs the Federal Governmentâ€™s plan to establish a Federal University in Kebbi State following the take-off of the nine proposed universities.
In response, President Jonathan thanked the Emir for the role he has played and continue to play for peace and stability to reign in the country, saying â€œwe will run a united government that will continue to uphold the peace and not discriminate against anybody. We will run a government that all Nigerians will be proud of.”
Concerning education, President Jonathan said the target of his administration is for every state in the country to have a degree awarding institution by 2012, and that Government will ensure that the basic infrastructure are in place before any proposed degree awarding university will take off.
He said Government was motivated to spearhead the Almajiri education scheme to equip the children of the core north with basic education that is a blend of culture and skills acquisition, so that the youths will not roam the streets but generate wealth for the nation.
The president also promised to urgently look into the Emirâ€™s request for the rehabilitation of the Sokoto-Kontagora road, noting that power and road infrastructure will be taken care of nationwide through a stakeholdersâ€™ forum that will formulate a five year development plan that will be followed through after a four year mandate.