President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday supported the clamour for the removal of immunity clause by some Nigerians from the nation’s constitution, saying some people are abusing the privilege.
According to Section 308 of the 1999 Constitution, the President, Vice President, state governors and their deputies are entitled to immunity, which protects them from criminal prosecution.
But speaking when Governor Seriake Dickson led a high-powered delegation of traditional rulers and top government officials from the state, who came to felicitate with him on the occasion of his 57th birthday today, the president decried a situation where people hide under the cover of immunity to make statements capable of threatening the country’s survival.
He said, “If there are people making statements, threatening the survival of this country, especially some people who probably have constitutional immunity and are abusing that that privilege.
“That is why most Nigerians are saying that immunity clause be removed because some people don’t merit it, since they abuse it.
“Some people are making remarks that are more or less treasonable, don’t be worried, nobody can upturn this country.
“This country must continue and we will not give up to blackmail by anybody. We will do our best and Nigeria must survive this temporary setbacks like Boko Haram and other security challenges”.
Mr. Jonathan reiterated his position that despite the obvious challenges, Nigeria would not disintegrate.
He said although the road might be rough, other nations had passed through such rough roads and they emerged stronger.
“Let me use this opportunity to reassure our people and all Nigerians that yes, as a nation, we have our challenges. Yes, it is rough, other nations have passed through such rough roads.
“I always said that I don’t know whether the State of Isreal has ever known peace for one day, but they are moving, they are developing.
“Go to America today, most of the millionaires are Jews, but they are always fighting to survive. So, that we have challenges should not be misconstrued that the country will come to an end.
“We will surely overcome those challenges and this country must move, this country must unite”, the President declared.
Earlier, Dickson told Jonathan that the delegation was in the Presidential Villa to show their solidarity, support and love to him on his birthday.
He also said contrary to reports, Bayelsa State was united, stable and peaceful.
Speaking later with State House correspondents, the Bayelsa governor said that he would not dignify those claiming that there is a rift between him and the President with a response.