Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Jonathan urges terrorists to lay down arms

01 October 2014, 16:18

Abuja - President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday called on terrorists and insurgents waging war against the Nigerian state to lay down their arms and embrace peace.

In a broadcast to mark Nigeria's 54th independence anniversary, Jonathan restated the commitment of his administration to bringing all terrorists to justice and making the country safe for all.

He extended the olive branch to those with genuine grievances, saying that government would listen to them if they embrace dialogue,

promising to empower to enable the Armed Forces destroy terror.

Also read: Abia premier preaches peace on independence day

"On an occasion like this, it is important that we remember all the precious souls that have been lost in the unprecedented war of terror.

"This war is unleashed on some parts of our country by these individuals who want to compel us to live our lives their way. They will not succeed!

"In their mission, they have maimed and raped. They have killed men, women and children, rendering many children orphans and several women widows.

"They have made violence their ideology and are bent on destroying our country. Dear countrymen and women, we will not allow them.''

Jonathan paid tributes to the security and armed forces for their commitment and sacrifice even in the face constant challenges and mortal danger.

"Night after night, day after day, our security forces continue to engage the terrorists in battle.

"My gratitude goes out to our armed forces whose will has been greatly challenged by this insurgency more than any other time since the civil war.

"Yet, they have remained undaunted and unwearied in the face of constant challenges and mortal danger.

"Fellow Nigerians, it is our collective duty as patriots to avail our men and women in uniform of all the support they need to fight and win this war.

"I urge every Nigerian to put aside political, sectional or other parochial considerations, and support whole-heartedly the efforts of the government and the military in checking this evil,'' he said.

The president said that while the government continued to deploy resources in the fight against terrorists, it would also pursue initiatives aimed at bringing succour to victims of terrorism in the country.

He said that the recently launched Victims Support Fund, which would aggressively solicit resources to complement other government's intervention programmes, was one of such initiatives.

"In partnership with Nigerian business leaders and international partners, we have also introduced the Safe Schools Initiative which is aimed at promoting safe environments for education nationwide, starting with the North East region.

"The Presidential Initiative for the North East, a comprehensive programme to fast-track the economic restoration of this region, which has been the epicentre of terrorist activity, has been set up.

"Our overall objective is to do all we possibly can to sustain in the North East, the momentum of economic advancement, which is on-going in other parts of the country, despite the machinations of the terrorists and their sponsors.

"It should now be clear to anyone who was ever in doubt that these terrorists do not mean well for anyone of whatever religion or dispensation.

"Their persistent choice of the weakest and most vulnerable in society, for gruesome attack, provides an insight into their abnormal mindset.''

The president expressed gratitude to the international community, especially the country's neighbours, for working closely with Nigeria in confronting terror.

According to him, the steady progress being made by the country against insurgents justifies its cooperation with the international community.

Savouring the success of the 2014 National Conference, Jonathan described it as the greatest centenary gift to the country which all Nigerians must cherish and sustain.

He noted one lesson that the conference had taught all Nigerians was that a multi-ethnic country like Nigeria must learn to embrace painstaking dialogue until consensus was established.

"In my independence anniversary address last year, I informed you that we had taken cognisance of the suggestion over the years by well-meaning Nigerians on the need to focus attention on rebuilding and strengthening the ligaments of our union.

"It was in that regard that we announced the convening of a national dialogue on the future of our beloved country.

"We have successfully delivered on that promise as we established the 2014 National Conference headed by Justice Legbo Kutigi.

Also read: Independence Anniversary: NSCDC boss assures of adequate

"After months of deliberations, which did not come without its challenges, the conference concluded its assignment and has handed its report to me.

"I have made the commitment that we would act on the recommendations of the conference.

"This, I have started by setting up the ministerial committee headed by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to work out the modalities for implementing the Report.

"Every promise I make, God willing, I will see to its fulfilment. I assure you, we shall implement the report,'' he said.

The president also renewed his administration's commitment to building and sustaining a strong democratic institution anchored on credible elections.

He said that the endorsement of the results of recent elections in some states by both local and international observers attested to the ``positive evolution of electoral credibility'' in the country.

"We cannot afford to relent. We will continue to ensure that the will of the electorate prevails so that political leaders would be reminded at all times that there is a day of reckoning when they have to go back to the people at the polls.

"Election days must not be days of violence and death. We must remain vigilant to ensure that our electoral process is characterised by peace, security and transparency.

"I enjoin the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), all security agencies, politicians and the electorate to work conscientiously and peacefully together to consolidate on the gains of the recent elections.

"Free and fair elections have come to stay; nothing else will be acceptable to our people.''

Jonathan noted that "desperate'' moves to overheat the polity were becoming regular occurrence as the country moved into an election year.

"Our political leaders in particular must know that the contest for power should not translate to the destruction of the polity.

"The contest for the leadership of our country must yield good governance, and not ungovernable spaces. The love of country should rank higher than our individual ambitions.

"We must remain committed to a united and indivisible Nigeria within democratic parameters.

"The protection of individual rights, liberty, equality before the law, freedom of thought, and a progressive pursuit of a sound economy must be our goal.''

 - NAN



ICPC denies its chairman was sacked

27 October 2016, 10:41

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...