Nigerian President and presidential candidate of the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) Goodluck Jonathan waves to supporters during a rally in Maiduguri on January 24, 2015. Boko Haram fighters have killed 15 villagers near Maiduguri, the epicen ~ TUNJI OMIRIN
Lokoja - President Goodluck Jonathan on
Tuesday promised to construct a rail line between Abuja and Lokoja as part of
measures to fast-track the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
Addressing PDP supporters in Lokoja, Jonathan said that the
engineering design of the rail line, which would run through Ajaokuta, would
soon be approved.
The president said that Kogi occupied an important position
in the history of Nigeria and must be properly linked to encourage
entrepreneurship, trade and commerce and create wealth for the people.
He said that the Federal Government was committed to the
completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company, adding that all legal issues slowing down
its completion had been resolved.
“We are not playing politics with Ajaokuta Iron and Steel
Company. Legal issues have been holding down its completion,” the president
He said the final legal documents for the resuscitation of
the company would be signed in a couple of weeks from now.
Jonathan said that in line with the Federal Government’s new
automobile policy, which states that at least 65 per cent of components of
vehicles be sourced locally, the completion of Ajaokuta Steel Company would be
of immense help.
Also read: Government to link state capitals with rail system
“For us to achieve this, iron, fibre and other raw materials
must be produced in Nigeria,” he said.
The president also said his administration had been able to
rehabilitate over 20,000km of the 35,000km of the federal road network in the
He called on Nigerians to re-elect him to complete the
remaining roads in the next four years.
He commended the founding fathers of the state for their
roles in the development of Nigeria and the formation of the PDP and urged the
people to remain steadfast and continue to support the party.
The National Chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, described
Jonathan as tolerant and cool headed.
The chairman said the president had not victimised members
of the opposition and that no Nigerian was living in exile because of their political
differences with the president.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo in his remarks expressed
appreciation to the people of the state for their support to the PDP and urged
them to vote massively for the party in the forth-coming elections.
Sambo said the state would continue to be accorded due
priority in the scheme of things.
He said the Federal Government would ensure the quick
actualisation of the Alape Crop processing Zone in the state and other ongoing
The President of the Senate, Sen. David Mark, said that
Jonathan deserved to be re-elected because he had fulfilled all the promises
made to the North-Central Zone during 2011 electioneering campaign.
He urged the people of the state to reciprocate by voting
massively the president and other PDP national assembly candidates.
The Director-General of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign
Organisation, Dr Ahmadu Ali, appealed to the people to stand firm and not be
stampeded into voting against their conscience during the coming elections.
He said the state had benefitted tremendously from the
administration of Jonathan and urged the people to vote for him so that the
state would continue to experience transformation.
The state governor, Capt. Idris Wada, earlier in an address
of welcome enumerated all the federal projects in the state.
He said that the people had no regrets casting their lots
with the PDP since inception in 1999 and assured Jonathan that the people would
reciprocate by voting massively for him and other candidates of the party.
Wada thanked Jonathan for fulfilling his 2011 electoral
promises to the state.
capacity Lokoja Confluence Stadium was filled to capacity by party supporters.