Following  the growing criticism on the Seven-Point Agenda  of the present administration, eminent elders group has advised the Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to scale down the Agenda, possibly to two, and concentrate on “few” measures to deliver good governance to Nigerians.

The group, comprising former Heads of State and key national leaders across the nation led by General Yakubu Gowon, gave the advice yesterday during a visit to Dr. Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Addressing State House correspondents after the visit, Professor Jerry Gana, who spoke on behalf of the group, said the elders also wanted the Acting President to focus on how to ensure a free and fair election in 2011.

“First of all, we emphasized the issue of good governance in terms of ensuring that the processes of government are effective and deliver results for the benefit of the people of Nigeria. We also emphasized that of the very good 7-point agenda, they should identify a few that can be done effectively because people really want to see action and result on the ground, and we emphasized about two or three of this”, Gana said.

He said the former Presidents, former Heads of State together with some eminent elders have come to have a consultation with the acting President ,saying what  Nigerians are looking forward to is for this  administration to do its very best to ensure free, fair and credible election in 2011.
Professor Gana charged the administration under the Acting President to do everything humanly possible to ensure that elections in Nigeria is free and fair so that we can have legitimately elected government in the coming election.

“Second on our list is the issue of energy and power. There is no reason in this world that Nigeria should be in this kind of situation regarding power supply or even in the energy sector because we are an oil producing nation. The elders would like to see the demonstration of strong political will in these areas so that decisive action would be taken to resolve the issues and give the nation a new lease of life,” he said.
Gana, who observed that Nigeria should be able to produce more power and resolve the problem in the energy sector, said the elders recognised that no economy could grow and prosper without good infrastructure, food, roads, good railways, pipelines.

He said things have to move in the country, “so, we want the administration in the short time to take a few things and do them effectively to ensure result. In other words, the elders are just emphasizing that it is not how long, but the focus, the concentration should be on a few things and getting them done properly. Nigerians are very observant; they know when efforts are being made to get things moving.”

“The elders also emphasized on the need to promote peace and security without, which, according to them, development and progress will continue to elude the nation. It is not just in the Niger Delta now, even across the nation. These political killings are getting very worrying and the elders really emphasized the need for resources to be deployed to ensure that criminals are detected and punished effectively, and we hope that the issue of restoring fairness, justice and equity even in the Niger Delta area can be pursued because people love justice, they love fairness.

“They also called on the Acting President to urgently address the problems of unemployment, especially among the youths to combat crime in the country. We have energetic youths; they want to work but no job. So the elders just came to wish the acting president well and to say to him be focused, courageous, decisive, firm, but fair, honest and just,” Gana further said.

Earlier, leader of the delegation, Gen. Gowon, said the elders were in the State House on a solidarity visit and to consult with the Acting President and offer advice for peace, security progress and general development of the nation.

He said there was the need for a robust determination to move the nation forward and also advised that emphasis should be placed on ensuring good governance, free, fair and credible election at all levels of governance in 2011 and for the nation’s democracy to be deeply rooted to bear fruitful harvest.
According to him, the proposed electoral reforms should be thoroughly pursued and that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needs to be reconstituted before the 2011 polls.

Gen. Gowon also called for greater attention to power, resolution of the crisis in the oil and gas sector, vigorous pursuit of the amnesty programme, peace and security, as well as infrastructure development.
“What is required is a courageous political will to take and implement appropriate decisions on these areas. We will urge you to have the courage to take and implement such bold and pragmatic decisions as you steer the wheel of the nation,” Gowon said.

Receiving the elders, Acting President Jonathan assured them that he was committed to doing the right thing, just as he promised to continue consultations with ex-leaders.
He assured the former leaders of his commitment to doing what is right, as he steers the affairs of the nation in the absence of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

“Let me sincerely welcome you and appreciate your kind gesture and advice on areas of critical needs and concerns of Nigerians. As a government, we are time bound. We are looking at just a little over a year or so to round up. All of you that are here have one thing in common. You have all written your names in the positive side of history in this country. Even if I leave this job today or tomorrow, I want to be able to raise my head to say this and that is what we have done,’’ he said.
Dr. Jonathan reiterated the commitment of the administration to conducting credible, free and fair election come 2011.

Stating the need for the country to develop the culture of good elections, Jonathan said in achieving this, there was the need to come up with credible people who will be at the helm of affairs of the nation’s electoral body.
The Acting President stressed the need to quickly do things that will impact positively on the lives of Nigerians within the shortest possible time.
He said the administration would work towards stable power supply, ensure adequate security of Nigerians through the on-going reform of the Police and improve on the force’s intelligence gathering capacity.
The Acting President assured that suggestions by the elder statesmen would be presented as council note to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for consideration.
Among those on the visit are former Vice President Alex Ekwueme; former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore; former Defence Minister, Gen. T.Y. Danjuma;  Chief Solomon Lar; Mallam Adamu Ciroma; Sen. Ahmed Joda; Chief Edwin Clark; HRH Johnny Turner;  Prof. Jerry Gana; Sen. Jonathan Zwingina; Senator Isaiah Balat and Dr. (Mrs) Christy Silas.Following  the growing criticism on the Seven-Point Agenda  of the present administration, eminent elders group has advised the Acting President Goodluck Jonathan to scale down the Agenda, possibly to two, and concentrate on “few” measures to deliver good governance to Nigerians.

The group, comprising former Heads of State and key national leaders across the nation led by General Yakubu Gowon, gave the advice yesterday during a visit to Dr. Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Addressing State House correspondents after the visit, Professor Jerry Gana, who spoke on behalf of the group, said the elders also wanted the Acting President to focus on how to ensure a free and fair election in 2011.

“First of all, we emphasized the issue of good governance in terms of ensuring that the processes of government are effective and deliver results for the benefit of the people of Nigeria. We also emphasized that of the very good 7-point agenda, they should identify a few that can be done effectively because people really want to see action and result on the ground, and we emphasized about two or three of this”, Gana said.

He said the former Presidents, former Heads of State together with some eminent elders have come to have a consultation with the acting President ,saying what  Nigerians are looking forward to is for this  administration to do its very best to ensure free, fair and credible election in 2011.
Professor Gana charged the administration under the Acting President to do everything humanly possible to ensure that elections in Nigeria is free and fair so that we can have legitimately elected government in the coming election.

“Second on our list is the issue of energy and power. There is no reason in this world that Nigeria should be in this kind of situation regarding power supply or even in the energy sector because we are an oil producing nation. The elders would like to see the demonstration of strong political will in these areas so that decisive action would be taken to resolve the issues and give the nation a new lease of life,” he said.
Gana, who observed that Nigeria should be able to produce more power and resolve the problem in the energy sector, said the elders recognised that no economy could grow and prosper without good infrastructure, food, roads, good railways, pipelines.

He said things have to move in the country, “so, we want the administration in the short time to take a few things and do them effectively to ensure result. In other words, the elders are just emphasizing that it is not how long, but the focus, the concentration should be on a few things and getting them done properly. Nigerians are very observant; they know when efforts are being made to get things moving.”

“The elders also emphasized on the need to promote peace and security without, which, according to them, development and progress will continue to elude the nation. It is not just in the Niger Delta now, even across the nation. These political killings are getting very worrying and the elders really emphasized the need for resources to be deployed to ensure that criminals are detected and punished effectively, and we hope that the issue of restoring fairness, justice and equity even in the Niger Delta area can be pursued because people love justice, they love fairness.

“They also called on the Acting President to urgently address the problems of unemployment, especially among the youths to combat crime in the country. We have energetic youths; they want to work but no job. So the elders just came to wish the acting president well and to say to him be focused, courageous, decisive, firm, but fair, honest and just,” Gana further said.

Earlier, leader of the delegation, Gen. Gowon, said the elders were in the State House on a solidarity visit and to consult with the Acting President and offer advice for peace, security progress and general development of the nation.

He said there was the need for a robust determination to move the nation forward and also advised that emphasis should be placed on ensuring good governance, free, fair and credible election at all levels of governance in 2011 and for the nation’s democracy to be deeply rooted to bear fruitful harvest.
According to him, the proposed electoral reforms should be thoroughly pursued and that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needs to be reconstituted before the 2011 polls.

Gen. Gowon also called for greater attention to power, resolution of the crisis in the oil and gas sector, vigorous pursuit of the amnesty programme, peace and security, as well as infrastructure development.
“What is required is a courageous political will to take and implement appropriate decisions on these areas. We will urge you to have the courage to take and implement such bold and pragmatic decisions as you steer the wheel of the nation,” Gowon said.

Receiving the elders, Acting President Jonathan assured them that he was committed to doing the right thing, just as he promised to continue consultations with ex-leaders.
He assured the former leaders of his commitment to doing what is right, as he steers the affairs of the nation in the absence of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

“Let me sincerely welcome you and appreciate your kind gesture and advice on areas of critical needs and concerns of Nigerians. As a government, we are time bound. We are looking at just a little over a year or so to round up. All of you that are here have one thing in common. You have all written your names in the positive side of history in this country. Even if I leave this job today or tomorrow, I want to be able to raise my head to say this and that is what we have done,’’ he said.
Dr. Jonathan reiterated the commitment of the administration to conducting credible, free and fair election come 2011.

Stating the need for the country to develop the culture of good elections, Jonathan said in achieving this, there was the need to come up with credible people who will be at the helm of affairs of the nation’s electoral body.
The Acting President stressed the need to quickly do things that will impact positively on the lives of Nigerians within the shortest possible time.
He said the administration would work towards stable power supply, ensure adequate security of Nigerians through the on-going reform of the Police and improve on the force’s intelligence gathering capacity.
The Acting President assured that suggestions by the elder statesmen would be presented as council note to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for consideration.
Among those on the visit are former Vice President Alex Ekwueme; former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore; former Defence Minister, Gen. T.Y. Danjuma;  Chief Solomon Lar; Mallam Adamu Ciroma; Sen. Ahmed Joda; Chief Edwin Clark; HRH Johnny Turner;  Prof. Jerry Gana; Sen. Jonathan Zwingina; Senator Isaiah Balat and Dr. (Mrs) Christy Silas.

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