Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Tony Anenih, has said that some Nigerians don’t see anything good in the regime of President Goodluck Jonathan.
The former minister of works however begged southern states to unite behind the President and support him in the governance of the nation.
Anenih made the call in an address he delivered on Monday at the Southern Leaders Summit held at the Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort in Calabar.
In his speech, which was sent to our correspondent in Abuja, Anenih said the President needed the support of the southern states to face the challenges created by Boko Haram, the global economic recession and unrest, and to keep the country united.
He said, “The unity of this country is not negotiable.
“We must acknowledge the uncommon leadership the President has exhibited in the face of these challenges.”
The PDP BoT Chairman also said, “Unfortunately, some Nigerians do not see any good in the present administration,” adding that “this perception should be killed.”
Anenih expressed happiness at the summit, which was convened to articulate Southern Nigeria’s positions at the forthcoming National Conference, that the idea of a national conference had been widely accepted.
He said, “The response to the National Conference Committee was quite remarkable; so also is the widespread pre-National Conference Dialogue that is going on among various groups across the country.
“I commend President Goodluck Jonathan for his sagacity in giving Nigerians this golden platform to examine areas of concern about the Nigerian federation and find common solutions to those problems that have constituted a hindrance to our evolutionary journey to nationhood.
“I am convinced that the National Conference will strengthen the bonds of unity, the fabric of our federalism and the pillars of our nationhood. The unity of this great nation is not negotiable.”
He added that it was gratifying that different groups—nationalities, civil society organisations, faith-based organisations and academic institutions—were crystallising their positions and preparing well-thought-out proposals for the national conference.
“This Southern Leaders Summit is, surely, one of the pre-Conference Fora which, hopefully, will identify areas of common interest to the States of the South,” he said.
Anenih, who used the occasion to lament the inability of the states of the South to operate on a common platform or to speak consistently with one voice, said the summit would provide a platform to identify common concerns.
According to him, “there is no doubt that there are many concerns which they share and need to identify at a platform such as this.
“Our Northern counterparts have been known to work together as a united front. We in the South must also forge unity and cooperation among ourselves.”
He noted that the participants at the summit were men and women who had distinguished themselves in their various callings and in the services of this country.
Anenih expressed confidence that the ideas and proposals, which would emanate from the deliberations would not only be profound, but also capable of lifting the country and helping it towards attaining its manifest destiny.
He said, “We must see this National Conference, not as a platform to shout at one another but rather as another opportunity to make our country a better place to live in.
“We must concern ourselves with proffering ideas that will bring improvements to every aspect and sector of our national life.
“Our aim must be to facilitate the emergence of a new Nigeria which, in the days, months and years after the National Conference, will be far better and more united than ever before.”