President Goodluck Jonathan has admitted to being worried by the rising political tension in the country as the 2015 general elections approach, and has vowed to use his influence as president and leader of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party to end them.
He made this statement on Thursday when he had a closed-door meeting with a delegation of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) led by its President, Mr. Okey Wali (SAN) and three of its past presidents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to a statement released by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, President Jonathan was quoted as saying that his intervention had become necessary because politicians’ excesses were unnecessarily overheating the polity ahead of the 2015 general elections.
While responding to the concerns raised by the NBA on political developments in the country, especially the happenings in Rivers State, the President said he would do all that was humanly possible to curb the rising political tension in the country, which he described as uncalled for.
He said, “The political tension in the country is mainly built around the 2015 elections, which should not be the case. It is quite disturbing. The year 2015 is still far off. I expect politicians to focus on the business of governance now. We must do what we were elected to do first. “We will do our best to curb the overheating of the polity.”
The President, who had been roundly criticised alongside his wife, Patience, as being behind the crisis in Rivers State, was also said to have told the NBA delegation that he had asked for a detailed brief on the security situation in the state.
He, therefore, assured the group that all necessary actions would be taken to ensure adherence to the rule of law and maintenance of law and order in the troubled state.
He also addressed other issues raised by the delegation and that said his administration was implementing the right policies, programmes and projects to accelerate economic development and boost employment in the country.
He called for “a little more patience” from Nigerians, saying that the results of the present administration’s efforts in areas, such as power supply, would become even more apparent in due course.
“In its address to the President delivered by Mr. Wali, the NBA conveyed its views on the state of the national economy, national security, the rule of law, independence of the judiciary, the anti-corruption crusade, elections and the electoral process as well as the ongoing review of the 1999 constitution.”
In an interview with State House correspondents shortly after the meeting, Wali said his association was greatly concerned about the negative developments in Rivers State, and had therefore called on Jonathan to do all within his powers to ensure that peace returns to the state.