Thursday, April 22, 2010

A Conversation with Acting President Goodluck Jonathan

Speechwriting job is often underrated but I think it is very excitingly appealing to all who have a penchant for research and documentation. Working in the overrated oil-sector is definitely not as sexy as being the Speechwriter of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

But before considering attempting such position, you need a good education to prepare you. At least that was what the President’s Speechwriter said. He got a Master’s degree in this field and a PhD in that field. The list of educational qualifications is so long that I would not mention them here to avoid misrepresentation.

My friend (Chichi) and I attended The Centre for Global Development event, organized to give the Acting President of Nigeriaan opportunity to give his perspective on several issues affecting Nigeria. We sat beside the President's Speechwriter and listened to Acting President Goodluck Jonathan speak. He (the writer) asked us if the speech was good. We nodded in affirmative. Honestly, the speech was really thorough, punctuated with good humor.

However, I realize we don't need impeccable Political speech from our government leaders. We need to see our leaders really take action.

As if reading my mind, our Acting President mentioned the areas where he is hoping to take action. He hopes to use his tenure to improve power generation and supply in Nigeria, sustain the amnesty program on course in Niger Delta and work to control the illicit transfer of small arms and light weapons from the West to Africa.

In a later event, during the launch of the Michael S. Ansari Africa Center (Atlantic Council), the first question Goodluck Jonathan was asked was how he plans to engage the next generation during his administration. Acting President said there is room for the next generation who are ready to work hard. One of his strategies is to instill into every youth a value system that will allow us think more about the good of Nigeria instead of individual gain.

He also committed to build infrastructures; create investment opportunities, put in place a solid base for education, employment and good governance. As for 2011 election, he said that he would ensure electoral justice and accountability.

“Nigeria is rising and our rise will be for the good of all…” he said. And to the US he chided, “As friends we must be honest with each other”. Why pat Nigeria on the back as a partner with one hand and put our name on terrorism hotlist with the other?

This is a jenniferized first-hand version of Acting President’s visit to Washington D.C during the Nuclear Summit. If you read the story differently elsewhere, that is someone else also telling his or her story.

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