News / Africa

Nigeria's President Calls for National Unity

President Goodluck Jonathan opened Nigeria's National Conference with optimism this week. He appeared (above) at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.
President Goodluck Jonathan opened Nigeria's National Conference with optimism this week. He appeared (above) at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January.
James Butty
Nigeria’s long-awaited National Conference opened Monday in the capital, Abuja, aimed at solutions to an Islamist insurgency, corruption and oil revenue-sharing. 

In opening the conference, President Goodluck Jonathan told the 500 delegates to put partisan politics aside and focus on the agenda of the country.  

Presidential spokesman Reuben Abati says Jonathan also urged the delegates to strive toward building a stronger and more united Nigeria.
                   
“The president made a number of points. He made it very clear that he has no personal agenda to pursue through this conference. He made very clear that what is important is the national interest, and he enjoined all the delegates to put Nigeria first, not to use the platform of the conference for the pursuit of divisive politics or ethnic jingoism,” he says.
 
Abati says Jonathan also told the delegates to use the conference to further strengthen the bond that ties all Nigerians together, including national unity and patriotism.
 
With raging violence blamed on the Islamist insurgency of Boko Haram in the north and political divisions within the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), some commentators say Nigeria is become more divided.
 
Abati says Nigeria’s unity is not threatened.
                   
"A few weeks ago, we celebrated 100 years of Nigeria’s existence as a nation. And, in the speech that President Jonathan delivered, he stressed that the amalgamation was not a mistake, that we are a country of ethnic diversity, of linguistic diversity, and that our unity, the beauty of our country, lies, in fact, in that diversity,” Abati said.
                   
He says Jonathan’s speech did not dictate the agenda of the conference.   
 
“The issues that he referred to in the speech, these are the issues that have been out there in the public domain.  It doesn’t amount to the president setting an agenda,” Abati said.
 
The ruling PDP was recently beset by defections due in part to Jonathan’s decision to seek re-election.
 
Abati says Jonathan told delegates they should make the conference one about Nigeria the country and not about political ambitions.
 
“President Jonathan made it clear that the conference is a conference of the Nigerian people.  It’s not a conference about partisan politics.  And, if you look at the composition of that conference, you will see that it is not constructed along political lines.  It is a conference about the future of Nigeria.  It is a conference about the politics of Nigeria itself,” Abati says.

Butty interview with Abati
Butty interview with Abatii
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid