Posted by News Express | 8 January 2015 | 4,679 times
President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, lampooned some unnamed senior citizens in the country for their provocative and divisive statements, saying though these people would like to be seen as statesmen, they behaved more or less like “motor park touts.”
Jonathan spoke when he received the executive and members of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Northern Elders Council (NEC) led by Alhaji Tanko Yakassai at the State House, saying mere occupation of a big office in the past did not confer statesmanship on anybody.
He also told the delegation that it was wrong for anybody to accuse him of hating the North, saying some of his closest aides are from the North.
Although the President did not name any politician, there has been no love lost between him and former President Olusegun Obasanjo who had in the recent past criticised his administration over alleged non-performance.
Obasanjo on Monday also accused Jonathan of squandering about $55 billion savings in the excess crude account and the nation’s foreign reserve.
Jonathan said: “Some people call themselves statesmen but they are not statesmen; they are just ordinary politicians. For you to be a statesman is not because you have occupied a big office before but the question is what are you bringing to bear. Are you building this country or are you a part of people who tell lies to destroy this country to create enmity and make people who ordinarily would have been living together to fight themselves? Are you planning to set the country ablaze because you did not get that particular thing you want?
“At the appropriate time Nigerians will know all of us; even though I know most of you know us but the younger ones do not know. Some people are hiding under some big names and creating a lot of problems in this country. Making provocative statements in this country; statements that will set this country ablaze and you tell me you are a senior citizen. You are not a senior citizen; you can never be. You are ordinary motor park tout.
“Because, if you are a senior citizen, you will act like one. It is not because of the offices we occupy, it is by divine grace and providence that some of us occupy these offices. But what role are you playing to build this country?”
•Adapted from a Vanguard report. Photo shows President Jonathan.
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