Ahead of the 2015 general elections, President Goodluck Jonathan has called on the good people of Kaduna State to do all within their powers not to allow a repeat of the 2011 post-election violence that rocked the state.
It would be recalled that following the announcement of Mr. Jonathan as winner of the April 2011 presidential election, violent protests took place in Kaduna, Bauchi and Katsina, with Kaduna worse hit crises.
However, stressing the need to maintain the peace in the forthcoming poll during the commissioning of the new Kaduna State Government House complex on Tuesday, Jonathan, who is set to formally declare his ambition to seek re-election for a second term, charged the people of Kaduna State not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to breach the peace all in the name of politics.
In his speech, President Jonathan had expressed confidence in the state governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero in steering the affairs of the state, saying that as a trained accountant, Yero was prudent with the management of state resources.
He added that the presence of traditional rulers at the ceremony was an indication that Governor Yero was actually working closely with the royal fathers, and urged him to sustain the tempo for peaceful co-existence among the people of the state.
He said, “We all witnessed the 2011 post-election violence in Kaduna State where many people lost their lives. We should not allow a repeat of 2011 violence in Kaduna in 2015.
“Nobody should deceive you to cause crisis in the name of politics because when ordinary Nigerians agree that there will be peace in Kaduna, there will actually be peace.
“I plead with you to maintain this peace because no amount of soldiers and police will come to your house to maintain peace if you don’t allow peace to reign among you. This is the time to build Kaduna State and the country”.
The president further said he was privileged to have seen to the successful completion of this legacy project, which was conceived in 2008 by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, who was at that time governor of the state.
In his speech, Governor Yero commended the vision and purposeful leadership style of his predecessors in office, who initiated various developmental projects aimed at improving the living standards of our people.
The governor said: “The project about to be commissioned here today was executed in six phases at a total cost of N9, 636,578,141.41. Phase one, which provided basic Infrastructure was awarded on October 6, 2008 at a cost of N2, 984,575,579.00.
“The second phase was awarded on September 3, 2009 to provide infrastructure and other provisions at a total cost of N2, 363,764,980.33.
“I am proud and satisfied to announce today that this project was successfully completed through the sustained commitment of three successive administrations of PDP in the state”.
Yero further noted that the present atmosphere of peace and stability existing in most parts of the state was not due to the presence of security forces, “but it is more out of the genuine willingness of our diverse people to live in peace and harmony with one another. This is evident in the growing investor confidence, increase in business activities and rapid expansion of settlements in the state as well as massive influx of people from other parts of the country”.
He stressed that his administration is taking advantage of the peaceful atmosphere to also provide various developmental projects aimed at improving the living conditions of the people.
Meanwhile, shortly after the commissioning ceremony, President Jonathan met with royal fathers in the state led by Chairman of the state council of traditional rulers and Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, and PDP stakeholders behind closed doors for over 40 minutes in the new office complex. It was gathered that 2015 elections formed part of the issues discussed.