Former President Goodluck Jonathan, on Friday, called for synergy among President Muhammadu Buhari, governors, security chiefs and other stakeholders, saying such would de-escalate tension occasioned by the challenge of insecurity in the country.
Jonathan made the call when he led a delegation of politicians from Bayelsa on a condolence visit to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa at Government House, Asaba, over the recent demise of his father, Sir Okorie Okowa.
He said that it was unfortunate that school children and many Nigerians were being kidnapped for ransom by bandits.
“I believe that with the commitment of the governors and the Federal Government, we will be able to address the issue of insecurity in the country.
“I believe that the President himself is not sleeping and that the governors are not sleeping as well over the insecurity challenge in the country.
“As long as the governors, the President and all the security agencies can work together, Nigeria will be able to cross over this very ugly phase of societal evolution,” he said.
While saying that he was impressed by the efforts of the President in stemming the tide of insecurity, he called on Nigerians to join hands in making the country safe for all.
On the rumour of his interest in the 2023 presidential election, Jonathan said it was speculative and pledged to continue to serve God, humanity, Africa and the world to the best of his ability and with all sense of commitment and sincerity.
He lauded Governor Okowa for his giant strides in human capital and infrastructural development, adding that he was proud of the monumental achievements recorded by Okowa’s administration in the state.
The former President commiserated with the governor on the passage of his father, and urged him and his siblings to continue to promote their father’s enviable records as a way to immortalise him.
Responding, Okowa thanked the former president for identifying with the family on the passage of their patriarch, saying that they were consoled by the fact that their father died in Christ.
He disclosed that there would be thanksgiving service on August 21 for his late father, pointing out that the ceremony would be a platform to appreciate God for giving them a good father.
“My father was truly a school teacher and impacted a lot in our various communities and eventually he became a church leader and was very effective in the Anglican Communion.
“He was also a politician; people don’t actually know that but he actually groommed me in my early days in politics and he was always there to offer me advice on what best to do.
“He was truly a strong pillar behind me in my early political days,” the governor said.
Okowa used the opportunity to appreciate the former President for being a good ambassador of the nation to the world and urged him to continue to be a father to the people of Niger Delta, Nigeria and Africa.
He equally lauded Jonathan for his role in the establishment of Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Warri South West Local Government Area of the state which, according to him, has engendered peace in the Niger Delta.
“We must thank you for the various roles you have played and for being a good ambassador of Nigeria outside office and we pray that God will continue to be supportive of the roles that you will play for the betterment of our nation, West Africa and African Union.
“We appreciate your fatherly role even within our own South South region and I must actually use this opportunity to thank you for the establishment of the Maritime University in Okerenkoko because that actually did bring peace to us as a state,” Okowa added.