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I Will Be On Facebook — Jonathan. To Do What?

written by Bolaji Ogundele

To show his commitment to ushering in the era of electoral uprightness, President Goodluck Jonathan said he would set up a facebook account to create an interface for brilliant contributions from all Nigerians.

President Jonathan, who stated this at the 26th Convocation Ceremony of the University of Port Harcourt on Saturday, also said he had directed the economic team to design programmes for the growth of small businesses.

Dr Jonathan was the Visitor at the convocation ceremony which also witnessed the installation of the second Chancellor of the university in the person of Oba Akran of Badagry, His Majesty, Dr DeWheno Aholu Menu Toyi 1.

Jonathan observed that the first task for all Nigerians is to protect the nation’s nascent democracy, without which the future generation of Nigerians could not boast of a free society.

“The urgent task now is to strengthen and consolidate our young democracy so that tomorrow’s generations could be free to focus on contributing to other compelling matters of human civilisation. When we came into office in May 2007, our commitment was to restore electoral integrity by reforming the electoral guidelines, structures and relevant parts of the constitution dealing with votes.

“I am happy to note that the discourse and demand for free and fair elections are a nationwide current that cannot be stopped. Once again, I commit myself to work with all Nigerians, especially the youths to bring the sad days of electoral malfeasance to an end.

“As we approach the end of this administration, our first task will be to register to vote as soon as the voters register in every ward in our country is opened. Our second task is to vote when the time comes. The connection between voting and the conditions for sustainable development is strong.

“Once we can successfully prevent a few people from determining the outcome of elections, all elected leaders immediately come into the service of the general good”, the president said.

In his goodwill message, the Rivers State governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, advocated for the best material to be selected when it comes to the appointment of the next vice chancellor of the university.

He, however, pleaded for forgiveness for those who during a recent protest gave the appointment issue an ethnic and political colouration, saying “the university will go down when we start towing ethnic lines in the choice of vice chancellors”.

In his speech, the outgoing Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Professor Don Baridam, said the university could no longer cope with the difficulties associated with irregular power supply, adding that the mandate to provide quality education, through research and teaching, had become seriously compromised.

The convocation ceremony saw the award of degrees and certificates to 5,918 graduands, while the institution honoured five distinguished Nigerians with honorary doctorate degrees.

Former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mohammed Uwais (JSC), former governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke, the Managing Director of the World Bank, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, who was represented by her father, Professor Chukwuka Okonjo were honoured. Others included the second Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor S.J. Cookey and Professor Aniezionwu Okoro.

The ceremony was graced by a large number of dignitaries including the governors of Bayelsa, Delta, Akwa Ibom and Cross River. Other dignataries were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, ministers, service chiefs, royal fathers as well as the clergy.

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9 answers

@ shotster50:

The president paying attention to what is happening to his facebook page is like opening his office for everyone (no reservation) to come in talk with him.

Here is an example, some weeks ago, Sarah Palin endorsed a candidate many "tea party" base did not support - her fans page on Facebook was flooded with negative comments. Remember that Jonathan's ascension to Presidency was driven by this grass root efforts (mostly online and few street protest match).

Its a good development. If well managed he can as well become the Nigeria Political figure with the largest following online - don't underestimate the power of numbers.

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What is wrong with you guys. I mean its a welcome development. Obama' fans page have over 8million fans. Even Sarah Palin now uses facebook page as her office - since leaving Alaska.

I own the largest Enugu Fans page on facebook, if you are on FB, kindly join us.

http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Coal-City/363111729262

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This is clearly a PR move. I guess in Nigeria anything different is better ,

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Uncle Joe, these problems are very clear ooo.

If its only constant electricity you can provide with this 1year remaining you've already won the next election.

Common sense is not common.

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lol. This man has resorted to mind games with nigerians, and is trying to ride his popularity to keep stringing people along.

Really, what is there to hear from nigerians on facebook? Do they represent the over 60% of our population that cant afford good education or 3 meals a day? The basics are not even in place, you are going to the top to listen to problems, what rubbish.

People say getting government closer to people, is that the set of people he is trying to get close to, or he is being coy and telling us he understands the power of internet bloggers now?

This dude should get working and quit all this popularity seeking moves, as the only sort of move sanctioned by the entire populace are tangible results, not media propaganda.

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this is another silly idea and topic.

what are u expecting to hear from nigerians on facebook? that there is no light? or that kidnappers are on rampage? are we going to remind jonathan through facebook that aso rock is full of criminals?

will jonathan go to facebook to hear that pdp is based whatever they are doing on selection which is against the principles of democracy.

jonathan, pdp and this idea of facebook is rather a square peg in a a round hole.

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True!

However, i see some sense in the latest move.

It is a way of bringing the government closer to the people, it is also a way to draw the attention of the government to issues that need urgent attention.

Besides this, it can also serve as an effective feedback route before taking certain steps.

Although, i doubt Jonathan himself will be in charge of the account, he's most likely going to put some guy in charge of it!

Such a lucky dude whoever that is. . . .getting paid to be on facebook!

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Nigerian problems are not hidden that no president can see them, neither their cry so low that the governement can not hear, but corruption has separated the people from their government.

I doubt it anyways if Jonathan never had a FB account before. If indeed he never had any, he need one, but telling me he wanna get the new account jst to hear from Nigerians what the problem is, oh c'mon even a kid on the street of lagos Knows at least the basic problems of the Nation.

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President Obama reads 10 letters everyday out of the thousands he recieves.

President Medviedev confessed recently of going online to hear directly the frustrations of Rusians.

It is called trying to be in touch with the yearnings of the people.

Jonathan Goodluck or any Nigerian leader is not more serious than the guys I mentioned above. It does not have to be facebook, but Nigerian Presidents need a means of hearing from Nigerians.

Thats leadership in the digital age.

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