President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday admonished the new Chairman of the National Population Commission, Chief Eze Iheoma (SAN), against making inflammatory statements that could cause problem in the country.
The president spoke at the swearing-in of Iheoma and two other members of the Commission, Dr Aliyu Kwali and Bala Banye
“You must be very mindful and not make statements that will create problem for the society.
“I dropped your predecessor because of certain statements he made and brought credibility problem to the commission.
“He is a fine gentleman, everybody knows him, very cerebral.
“But an institution like the National Population Commission must be one that people will believe in whatever you do.
“And if you make pronouncements that will create credibility problem to that institution, the best thing is for you to step aside for some other person to step in.
“This is because the credibility of that institution is critical.
“Perception in most cases are stronger than real, no matter what you do if the perception is wrong then society will not follow you”, he said.
Jonathan said Iheoma should bring wealth of his experience as legal practitioner and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria to bear in bringing strong leadership to the NPC.
He underscored the importance of getting the accurate population census of the country to aid the government in proper planning.
“If we know the total number of children we are expecting then you will know how to expand the facilities you have in your basic education institutions.
“So, population commission is critical”, he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the president relieved Chief Festus Odimegwu, the former NPC Chairman, of his post last year.
On the occasion, the president also swore in his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Sen. Makanjuola Ajadi, and Special Adviser on NEPAD, Mrs Fidelia Njeze.
Jonathan advised Makanjuola against playing partisan politics in the discharge of his duties.
“You are coming at a very interesting time when some people are crossing to the left and some people are crossing to the right.
“Luckily, you have been a part of the National Assembly before, you have been a Senator, you know the games you play there you know your trick.
“You must be able to relate with every member of the National Assembly.
“The Federal Government is for everybody and that is why we cannot talk the way they talk; because, as long as you have won election to be the president of a country, you are the president of everybody.
“Even those who abuse you; even those that are ready to kill you – so you have to protect them.
“So you are there to relate with all members of the National Assembly, to make sure that the executive and members of the parliament work in the interest of this country and for the development of our people”, he said.
Jonathan urged Njeze should work to realise the objective of setting up the New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) and African Peer Review Mechanism.
He said that Njeze should work with her colleagues in other countries to uplift the status of the country.
The president congratulated the appointees and charged them to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently.
Iheoma who responded on behalf of others expressed gratitude to the president for finding them worthy and giving them the opportunity to serve the nation.
He promised that they would live by the letters of the oath they took.