Nigerian acting president takes office

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Abuja - Nigerian Acting President Goodluck Jonathan says his administration will focus attention on power, infrastructure, security, generation of employment and business opportunities.

Jonathan on Tuesday made his acceptance speech after the National Assembly passed resolutions mandating him to act as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.

"It is now time for us to move on in a more determined manner to tackle the various challenges which we face as a nation. Our march towards Vision 20-2020 is irreversible," he said.

Jonathan was officially made acting President after having filled the position for the last ten weeks while President Musa Yar'Adua is treated for a medical condition abroad.

"Therefore, we see a need to prioritise on a few of the most critical areas which continue to plague our effort at engendering meaningful economic growth and development.

"Some of these critical sectors include power, infrastructure, security, generation of employment and business opportunities for our teeming young men and women," he said.

Jonathan also reiterated the Federal Government's commitment to ensuring the security of lives and property in all parts of the country. He said the Nigeria Police and other security services would be given new impetus to perform their duties, even while respecting the human rights of Nigerians.

"There shall be no excuses for failure. Nigerians deserve to be fully protected at all times nationwide,'' said Jonathan, who warned, however, that the government would not tolerate the culture of impunity which was fast becoming an unwholesome part of the nation's socio-political life.

"The war against corruption will be prosecuted most robustly."

He added that the government would strengthen the capacity of the anti-corruption agencies and give them a free hand to prosecute the anti-corruption war.

Jonathan said he was deeply humbled and honoured by the call to duty, emphasising that he was fully aware of the responsibilities reposed in him. "I want to reassure all Nigerians that this is a sacred trust which I shall discharge to my fullest."

As the nation approached the 2011 general election, Nigerians should be assured of government's determination to ensure the sanctity of their electoral rights.

"The Anambra election has, however, exposed some weaknesses in our electoral system and government is determined to plug these loopholes,'' said Jonathan.

He appreciated the international community's goodwill and understanding of the nation's efforts at national development and consolidation of democracy.

According to him, Nigeria will continue to play a deserving role in regional and global affairs.