“I Didn’t Want To Send Wrong Signals” – Jonathan On Compensation For Boko Haram Victims

On Sunday, November 10, President Goodluck Jonathan promised to set up a committee to develop the plan of assisting victims of the Boko Haram sect violence.

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Jonathan gave a speech “Recover All” in Warri, Delta state, marking the 44th anniversary of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s establishment of his ministry, as well as the 26th Jubilee Word Festival 2013 of Word of Life Bible Church. He was accompanied by governors of Cross River, Delta, and Plateau states Liyel Imoke, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, and Jonah Jang.

Pastor Oritsejafor praised Jonathan for being the first sitting President who went on holy pilgrimage to Israel and signed a bilateral agreement with the country.

The Pastor also commended the National Assembly for making a decision to extend the state of emergency in the three north-eastern states (Borno, Adamawa and Yobe). He also noted that there has been a significant improvement in the security situation in the area.

However, the Pastor expressed his surprise over Jonathan’s recent statement that there would be no compensation for the victims of Boko Haram and asked President Jonathan to explain the position of government on the issue. Moreover, the Pastor called on Nigeria’s leader to address the issue of non-payment of pensions to retirees.

Responding, President Jonathan said he was “ambiguous” with his previous statement because he did not want to “send wrong signals to the world”. The very word “compensation” is too vague, as guaranteeing adequate compensation for insurgents’ victims is impossible. The Federal Government will assist the victims to ensure “that they pick the bits and pieces of their lives again,” the President maintained.

Speaking on the issue of non-payment of pensions to military retirees, the President assured the lawmakers are working to resolve the problem.

He accounted for the work done by his administration, stressing that the Transformation Agenda project is in progress.

“I can assure you that tremendous work has been done in the power sector and, by the first quarter of next year, there will be relatively stable supply of power in the country,” the President stated. “Nigeria, being the largest black country in the world, will never experience power outages again.”

Commending the quality of the leadership of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor as the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Jonathan noted that the Pastor “brought dynamism” into the office.

The country might have gone into oblivion if not for the church. Nigeria has been sustained and held together by constant daily and nightly prayers, Jonathan further stated.

Pastor Oritsejafor said he hopes the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) would soon be dealt with. Nigeria will be great again, he optimistically said, but Nigerians should first see themselves as Nigerians before anything else.

Source: Daily Trust

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