President Goodluck Jonathan has promised that the present security challenges in the country, especially the incidents of bombings, will soon be over and projected that they would “drastically” be reduced by the middle of this year.
He was speaking with the Nigerian community in South Korea, where foreign heads of state at the Nuclear Security Summit took turns to commend the stride the country had made in containing the security situation.
Speaking at the Walkerhill Hotels in Seoul Wednesday , Jonathan said although he was not sure to say there would be no more security issues, “I can assure you that God willing, before the middle of this year, most of these bombings will be reduced to the barest minimum”.
He also said that he based his optimism on the fact that “a number of people have been arrested that we cannot advertise. There are certain critical people that if you get, you will be able to extract information from them. We have the freest media in the world and every little thing is blown out of proportion, even to the disadvantage of the media people themselves. When you are dealing with this kind of situation, you have to be mindful of how you handle issues of security. That is why we don’t have this kind of briefing but I can assure you that the security agents are working extremely hard”.
“Some people are becoming so evil that they can kill people carelessly. Even quite a number of foreign leaders are praising us; that is the commendation we have been getting since Monday. Most countries that have this kind of experience have not moved as fast as we have moved. We have moved very, very fast,” Jonathan said.
He said the development in the country was strange, adding: “Our security architecture never expected suicide bombing and therefore was not prepared for it, but immediately we were confronted, we had to acquire the relevant technology and architecture and now we are working very hard. We are monitoring and the security agencies are working very hard. In fact, most of you would not know as much as I do because not everything about our security activities is advertised.
“All over the world, there are security challenges. Human beings by nature want to do something that is evil, so government must be on its own toes and will continue to be on its toes. This is because foreign direct investments will be affected and our economy will be affected, so we are working very hard.”
He, however, regretted the nature of opposition in the country which “rarely distinguishes between national interest and partisan politics”.
He also said the attitude of the opposition with regards to security was one of the factors militating against development.
Jonathan said in other countries, which Nigerians laud for their development strides, every threat to their security and unity had everybody joining hands to tackle it, but regretted that in Nigeria, rather than do the same, the people would politicise such issues.
While acknowledging that the security problems, especially kidnapping and suicide bombing took the country unawares, he said that once it was realised that there was no security architecture to handle such threats, moves were made to acquire them and assured them that in no distant time, they would be a thing of the past.
“Generally, Nigerians in the Diaspora are doing well. The last time I visited American President Obama said that Nigerians are very wonderful people with a great number of them doing well in medicine and other areas. In medicine alone we have over 25,000 consultants.
“Most of Nigerians in Diaspora send remittances back home to your families to help the training of your siblings or building of homes for your parents and this helps our local economy significantly.
“We are being blessed with that. We continue to encourage you. As much as we want people to come back home and help in building Nigeria, we also want people to stay out where they are and not all of you are expected to be in Nigeria but what I do promise is all these beautiful countries you see today were built by their people. The country of Korea which you are happy to be in was built by its citizens who committed themselves to it.
“We Nigerians must also build a country that our children will be proud of. That is the essence of our transformational leadership. We feel that certain things have to be done differently though it is difficult in a country where they play politics with everything.
“Everything is politicised; for example, when the Americans were attacked on 9/11, every American was together with the government of the day, yet they have political parties. When a country is challenged, everybody comes together to fight back but in Nigeria we play politics with everything. This is what we have seen and we will get over it,” he assured.
Apparently answering for the reason of lack of development and the way out, he said: “I believe it is discipline. I believe it is commitment, dedication and when we are ready to make the necessary sacrifices; we will get to where we want to go.”
Apparently referring to the complaints made by Nigerians that the South Korean authorities were blocking them from exploring chances and working lawfully to earn a living, Jonathan said: “When we get back home, I will ask the Minister of Foreign Affairs to invite the Korean Ambassador in Nigeria. Nigeria is one country Korean businessmen have significant investments. Their companies are playing big in the oil industry. If they are investing so much in Nigeria and making profits, I believe they have to treat our people right. Our people here must be given the opportunity to do business.”