President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday held a presidential media chat making it the 8th one since May 2011. the chat was much anticipated as Nigerians have been waiting to hear from the president concerning various disturbing issues in the nation.
The media chat anchored by former NTA presenter, Adesuwa Onyenokwe had Premium Times editor, Ibanga Isine; Blueprint editor, Ibrahim Shima and broadcast journalist, Deji Badmus on the panel.
Here are some of the most important things he said highlighted in snippets below:
On Replacement of Jega.
“I wish Jega were here, I could have asked him to answer whether I have confidence in him Yes those who called for his sack may be close to me, but they express their own opinion. More than 80 per cent of those who sponsor messages on our behalf we don’t even know them. People use the reschedule of election to misinform Nigerians.”
“I have never thought about removing INEC Chairman, though I have the constitutional power to do so”.
On Postponement of elections
He said: “INEC must conduct election but they must work with the security services because they have to provide security. If the security services say there has to be an adjustment within this period, ordinarily there should not be an issue. I see election as any tournament. I don’t see any big deal. I was not consulted and I don’t need to be consulted.”
On his famous “what you call corruption is merely stealing” quote
“The word corruption we have abused it and it’s not making so much sense. I did not say stealing is not corruption. I made that statement in reference to ex-CJN, Justice Mustapha. A thief should be called a thief. Ole should be called ole! If you say somebody is corrupt people don’t know what you mean”. He added “A thief is a thief. Don’t use the word corruption to cover stealing. Call the person a thief”
“We have convicted more corrupt people than ever. It is just that Nigerians are confused on what the difference is between stealing and corruption.”
“It is not actually my quotation. I quoted Mustapha,” as he continues to defend his previous comments on corruption and stealing.
On elections and handing over
“Let me reassure Nigerians that elections will be conducted in this country and a governmentt will be inaugurated on May 29th”
On Defeating Boko Haram in 6 weeks
The president said he has just acquired new weapons, and gotten support of neigbhouring countries to fight Boko Haram. He mentioned that Chad waited for African Union approval, which they recently got too. He also mentioned that the issue of security is beyond Boko Haram. The president said it runs into dangerous signals of youth restiveness.
On Peace treaty and war threats from Niger-Delta
He blamed aides and associates of key political actors for the hate speeches and political violence. He did not categorically condemn the hate speeches or war threats or politically-motivated violence. “We will make sure things are done so that nobody goes to war,”
On why he frequents churches and not mosques
He responded by saying he does not receive invitations from Muslims.
On Chibok Girls
“Just give us some times,” he said, responding to questions seeking the state of the girls at the moment. The president is optimistic the girls would be rescued with the new military collaboration with neighboring countries. “I believe the story would be different in a few weeks,” the president said. “We would recover them alive.”
On PDP Governors defecting to APC
“In politics,there are no permanent friends or permanent enemies, there are only permanent interests.”
On losing 2015 elections
“If the elections are conducted and I lose, of course, another president would be sworn in,” the president said. He argued that Nigeria is more important than any individual.
On Gen. Muhammadu Buhari
“If I should assess Buhari under the condition which we are contesting, I don’t think I will be fair to Nigerians and myself. You are not also being fair to me by asking me that question. When you talk about mudslinging, I think garbage that is being poured on me is much more than the ones being poured on Buhari.
“These things have been happening on the social media and other platforms. I see them as the cross we have to carry. I know certain things that happened and the kind of effects they had on me. So many people don’t know that but I know.
“Buhari contested in 2003 against Obasanjo, he did so in 2007 against late President Yar’Adua and contested against me in 2011. Even in 2011 which was the closest, the environment was different. The characters around us have changed. APC started its campaign before me and I watched some of the rallies before I started my campaign in Lagos. If you listened to the way I spoke in Lagos at my flag off, you will realize that I was aggressive.”
On the N1 billion security loan and funds confiscated in South Africa.
He said the government has not started disbursing the N1 billion loan. With regards to the .3 million arms money seized in South Africa, he said the money does not belong to Nigeria, technically. He added that the matter was in court.