President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday said he had explicit confidence in the ability of the Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, to be an unbiased umpire in the February general elections.
Jonathan spoke during the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential rally held in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.
He said the fact that Jega is an indigene of the state also showed the confidence he has in the state.
He said, “We appreciate the people of Kebbi State so much. We have confidence in you and that is why we are talking about elections.
“We selected a son of Kebbi State, Prof. Jega, to be the number one umpire in this country.
“It is because of the confidence we have in him to be an unbiased umpire.”
The President promised that his government would continue to support the state government to improve the welfare of the people.
He commended the state government for being part of the rice revolution in the country introduced by his administration.
Jonathan said with the slump in global crude oil price and the recent reduction in pump price of petrol, there was the need for the country to strengthen alternative sources of income for the country.
Agriculture, he said, remained key among the alternative sources.
The President told the gathering of party faithful that his administration established a federal university in the state because of the importance he attaches to education.
He restated his administration’s resolve that every Nigerian child must be educated.
If given another opportunity, Jonathan said his administration would achieve a lot more within a few years.
Vice President Namadi Sambo, in his remarks, observed that Jonathan is the first President in Nigeria that has a doctorate degree.
He said with him as an architect, they have both been working and building Nigeria to world standard.
He enumerated the government’s giant strides to include sectors such as education, infrastructure and transportation among others.
The President had earlier paid a courtesy visit to the Emir of Gwandu, Alhaji Iliyasu Bashar, where he sought royal blessing for his ambition.
He told the traditional ruler that he was in the palace and in Birni Kebbi to formally inform the people of the state of his desire to seek re-election.
He lauded the state government for keying into his administration’s agricultural transformation agenda.
He promised that the Federal Government would continue to partner with the state government to see that the various developmental programmes are fruitful.
The emir promised the President that traditional rulers in the state shall continue to be loyal to all constituted authorities and remain committed to peace in the country.