Hon. Kingsley Kuku
Students of Niger Delta extraction from tertiary institutions in the country have declared that running for the Presidency in 2015 is a must for President Goodluck Jonathan and not an option, insisting that he should be ready to ‘check out’ of the country if he decides not to contest.
Their position, they argued, is predicated on visible developmental strides of Jonathan, which should not be short-circuited on the altar of narrow political considerations.
The students, who conveyed their position in Abuja, Friday during courtesy visit to the Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Programme and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Hon. Kingsley Kuku, said an unbiased assessment of Jonathan’s performance in office in the last few years would show that he had not only transformed many areas of national life but demonstrated statesmanship in handling knotty national issues.
National President of the National Association of Niger Delta Students, Comrade Michael Tombrara, who spoke on behalf of the National Executive Committee members, who accompanied him on the visit, said the revival of the rail system, for instance, was evident of Jonathan’s development disposition.
He stated that the rail system in the country had been comatose for decades under various regimes only to be revived under the current administration, adding that this has bolstered economic activities across the country.
Tombrara also recalled that but for the support the Jonathan administration had accorded the Amnesty Programme, the revenue profile of the country, which depends on oil for sustenance would have been negative.
According to him, the unique leadership style and vast experience of the incumbent president, which are unparalleled, have also helped him to handle sensitive national issues without undermining ethnic sensibilities and igniting primordial sentiments across the country.
He also pointed out that under Jonathan, murky electoral process that held sway under previous regimes has been cleansed and given global credibility.
The students’ leader said having considered various developments under the Jonathan administration, it was better for him not to be sacrificed on the altar of narrow political interests but to be allowed to run in 2015.
He, however acknowledged that there are challenges, which are not peculiar to Nigeria, adding that even the best democracies in the world, including the United States of America are also facing different challenges.
While presenting Kuku with an award on behalf of the students in the Niger Delta as the most outstanding appointee and performer of President Jonathan from the Niger Delta region, Tombrara noted that the entire students hold him in high esteem because of what he had been able to do with the Amnesty Programme.
According to him, if all other Niger Deltans in public service had been like Kuku, the region would have recorded more development in recent years.