July 22, 2024

Jonathan warns against politics being used to commit crime

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Jonathan warns against politics being used to commit crime

*Calls for offenders to be punished

Ini Billie, Uyo

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, on Monday, warned against politics being used as an avenue to commit a crime; he urged security agencies not to spare offenders.

Speaking during the inauguration of the 1.15-kilometre Afi-Uko Nteghe Uda bridge on the Etebi-Enwang Road, in the Mbo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, the former president expressed worry over the negative energy that the forthcoming elections have generated across the country.

According to him, politics of bitterness hinders development and called on politicians to market their politics with ideas, rather than fight, insult and abuse their opponents.

He said: “I am a bit worried by the negative energy generated ahead of the 2023 elections.

“We have noticed a level of bitterness in our politics that does not bring development and I plead with politicians that marketing is about marketing your ideas. Politics is not about fighting, is not insulting, is not about abusing.

“We have been reading in the newspapers and social media of how billboards of Presidential candidates, governorship candidates are pulled down and I believe by hoodlums, but sometimes, they say some governments even support those kinds of things.

“If you are a part of the team doing that, then know that you are among the unfortunate miscreants, wolves, virus or pathogen that is really decomposing our democracy. Please stop doing that; but in all these, I believe the security services have a lot to do.

“I believe anybody who commits a crime should not be covered under politics. Arson is arson and is never status-bound, so somebody commits a crime, burns houses, or kills people, the record must be kept, and whatever the investigation is completed, such people should be prosecuted; that is the only way people would stop doing this.

“But if people commit criminal offences and walk away, then, of course, other people would be encouraged to do the same. So, security services in Nigeria have a lot to do, they must not spare any criminal.”

Jonathan who described the bridge as one of the longest in West Africa, commended Governor Udom Emmanuel for his developmental achievements, saying his administration has good intentions for Akwa Ibom people.

He noted that some major ongoing projects which Governor Emmanuel had assured would be completed before the end of his tenure in May, is proof of his commitment to improving the lives of the people.

While speaking, Governor Udom Emmanuel said he has satisfied his conscience with his achievements across the state, adding that despite criticisms and the falsehood peddled against his government, he has tried not to be distracted.

Emmanuel commended the community for supporting the construction of the project, saying the project confirms his promise to open up the riverine areas.

He revealed that the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility is waiting for commissioning, adding that it can service two 747 800 series of aircraft and is appreciated across the world.

“I said in my second term that we are going to open up the riverine areas. In Nigeria today, I think we are very few in terms of governors, who can have 31 local government areas and development touching 31 local government areas simultaneously.

Jonathan warns against politics being used to commit crime

“There is no local government out of 31 which can say that this administration has not touched or there is not an ongoing life-touching project going on now.

“This is the only place a subnational is signing a signature in the sky, on the land, in the water. Today, if I had gotten the support of the Federal Government, we would have gone far in this area. This is where the future of Nigeria’s industrial hub lies.

“The Chairman of NNPC with Akwa Ibom and the investors signed a tripartite agreement as SSGD, the whole of this area, that is how significant this bridge is, to open up a solution hub in oil and gas, an open industrial hub for Nigeria,” he stated.

Describing the bridge, the Commissioner of Works, Prof Eno Ibanga said the 1.15km bridge sits on 412 piles with a minimum depth of 30 metres each, segmented into 52 spans of 22.5 metres, which sits on 408 precast beams.

Ibanga stated that the bridge meets engineering specifications and will last a lifetime.

On his part, the Managing Director of AMITEC Construction Company, Aiman Saimua said the company was awarded the project four years ago but the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay in the project which was completed two weeks behind schedule.

Saimua commended Governor Emmanuel for providing the funds required for the project and the community for their support, saying without it, they would not have been able to complete the project.

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