President Goodluck Jonathan has said that his strategy for combating corruption is not by indiscriminate arrest and jail of people.
Speaking to party supporters at the flag off of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos on Thursday, Mr. Jonathan said that the best way to tackle corruption is to strengthen public institutions.
“I stand by due process. Any country that does not respect due process is a jungle,” Mr. Jonathan said.
“They say to be strong is to jail people indiscriminately. For 300 years. Is that where you want to go?”
The President began his speech by stating that he was addressing young Nigerians who would be voting for the first time.
He asked them to verify from their elderly uncles and aunties the truth about Buhari’s government in the 80’s, adding that they must choose between a vote to be relevant or be treated as a “nonsense person”.
“They said they will fight insecurity. When he (General Buhari) was Head of State, did he buy one rifle for the Nigerian soldiers?
“Ask them what they did with the defence budget.”
President Jonathan also used the opportunity to apologize to federal civil servants for the delay in their December salary, attributing it to the IPPIS system which, he said, shut down after officials attempted to divert some of the salaries.
Mr. Jonathan also laughed off media reports that the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, had thrown their weight behind the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC.
“Orkar, the leader of MEND, is in South African prison because he was procured by some Nigerians to assassinate me,” Mr. Jonathan said.
“The man who is in South African prison for killing Nigerians is endorsing some people.”
Earlier, President Jonathan and his ruling PDP had officially opened their campaign towards next month’s presidential and governorship elections in Lagos, with a vow to emerge victorious at the polls.
The president and all PDP state governors made the declaration at the Tafawa Balewa Square.
In his opening remarks, Ahmadu Ali, the Director of the Jonathan-Sambo Campaign Organisation, said that the PDP, unlike the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, belongs to all Nigerians.
“The PDP is not the exclusive preserve of an individual who has turned Lagos into a cow to be milked,” said Mr. Ali.
Tunji Shelle, Chairman, Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP), Lagos State, on Thursday said the impressive turnout at the party’s rally in Lagos indicated support for the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The party later presented its flags to the governorship candidates of the respective states.