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My retirement plans, by Obasanjo

Posted by By Charles Ozoemena on 2006/06/20 | Views: 458 |

My retirement plans, by Obasanjo

ABUJA—PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo is to devote his attention to farming and community service, after his retirement next year.

ABUJA—PRESIDENT Olusegun Obasanjo is to devote his attention to farming and community service, after his retirement next year.

President Obasanjo in an agency interview in London, weekend, said: “For as long as I live, I want to be of service to humanity and to God. I will be doing community service and I regard the whole country as my community now.”

The President said he would also devote part of his time after leaving office to such issues as raising awareness on the imperatives for agricultural development, promoting good governance and better leadership in Nigeria and Africa and looking after his late wife’s Child Care Trust.

He added that as long as he remained fit and strong, he would remain available for service in the cause of peace-making in other parts of the world.
President Obasanjo also said he would campaign vigorously for the election of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidates in next year’s general elections. “Of course I will campaign for my party, for every candidate from local government to the Presidency,” he said.

He said the Federal Government would do everything possible to prevent political violence and ensure “free and fair elections, transparently conducted.”

On other matters, President Obasanjo dismissed recent suggestions that Nigeria’s foreign reserves were less than the figure given by the Federal Government. “When we came in 1999, our foreign reserves stood at $3.7 billion. Today, it is over $34 billion,” the President said, adding: “Some Nigerians confused unexpended income with foreign reserves.”

He said his administration would pursue efforts to recover funds which were stolen from Nigeria and stashed in foreign banks. “We will keep on putting pressure to get our money back. We have not done badly in this regard. Wherever we locate such looted funds, we will fight tooth and nail to get it back,” he said.

The President also denied that there was a growing clampdown on the media in Nigeria at the instance of the Presidency. “I believe that I am one of the most tolerant Presidents in the world and that responsible journalism has a role to play in development,” he said.

“Responsible journalism, he said, is based on “genuine facts, opinion and comment, not fabrications, rumour as fact, and getting paid for extolling lies and covering up the truth.”

President Obasanjo said his administration’s economic reforms had been very successful. “We have done very well there. Reform has been the most important issue for us and it has been all-embracing. It has led us to debt relief and over seven per cent growth in our economy and agricultural production,” he said, adding that the level of poverty in the country had been reduced by about 20 per cent since the inception of his administration.

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Comments (3)

Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.