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My Progressive Ideas Were Abandoned When I Left Office – Ex-President Jonathan - TELL Magazine

My Progressive Ideas Were Abandoned When I Left Office – Ex-President Jonathan

Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,
Goodluck Ebele Jonathan,

Calls for action to stamp out menace of cultism, bullying in schools

Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, on Friday lamented that some of his progressive ideas were abandoned as soon as he left office. He however did not detail such ideas. Jonathan, doctor of zoology, lost the 2015 presidential election to Muhammadu Buhari, retired army general, one-time military head of state, and candidate of the All-Progressives Congress, APC.

Dr. Jonathan, in his speech as Chairman of the 25th anniversary celebration of Igbinedion University, Okada, (IUO) in Edo State, recounted how he stood his ground, despite resistance in some quarters, when he directed that woman be admitted into the country’s military training institution, the Nigerian Defence Academy. Suggesting that the nation’s school education curriculum be recalibrated to prioritise skills acquisition and technology in all fields of its educational system while de-emphasising certificates, he posited that this was the way to go to hasten the development of the country.

The former President, who noted challenges women were facing in various career fields, advocated the elimination of limitations against their progression in their chosen fields of endeavour.

Recalling the challenges faced by women in the military when he was in office, President Jonathan said this spurred him to direct the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) to commence the admission of women into the institution. He said though there was resistance to his directive, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, he had his way.

According to him, “While I was pushing for progressive ideas as President, some people were resisting them; and as soon as I left office, those ideas were abandoned”.

Amidst prevalence of cultism and bullying at the nation’s lower school system, the former university teacher called on government at all levels to put a stop to the menace.

He thanked former head of state, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd) for approving the establishment of Igbinedion University, noting that if he hadn’t done that, the establishment of several other private universities would not have been possible.

Dr. Jonathan, while commending the courage and vision of the Founder of Igbinedion University, Chief Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, the Esama of Benin Kingdom, in establishing the institution, noted that because the university was doing well, it gave the impetus to other entrepreneurs to establish their own universities.

He thanked God for using General Abubakar to bring democracy to the country, just as he appreciated former governors of Akwa Ibom and Delta State, Obong Victor Attah, and Chief James Onanefe Ibori, respectively, for gracing the university’s silver jubilee.

In his remarks, General Abubakar commended Chief Igbinedion for his foresight in establishing the University, saying “25 years ago, we gave a license to establish this University and Esama has been making progress. Esama, we congratulate you”.

He also acknowledged the role of the Okada Community in bringing peace to the University, noting that “In the next 25 years, most of us won’t be here. I wish you well in your celebration”.

Earlier, Deputy Pro-Chancellor of the University, and former Edo State governor, Lucky Nosakhare Igbinedion, who spoke on behalf of his father, the Pro-Chancellor, and Founder of the University, said 25 years after, the noble effort of establishing the institution had paid off with the springing up of more private universities in the country.

Also speaking, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Lawrence Ikechukwu Ezemonye, who reeled out several achievements of the institution in the past 25 years, disclosed that it had churned out 60,000 graduates since inception.

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