REMARKS BY THE SECRETARY TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE
FEDERATION, SENATOR ANYIM PIUS ANYIM, GCON AT THE
TOWN HALL MEETING ON “LET THE RECORDS SPEAK”
ORGANISED BY HALLMARK NEWSPAPER AT SHEHU MUSA
VAR’ADUA CENTRE, ABUJA ON THURSDAY, 25th JULY 2013
Let me begin these short remarks by thanking, most profoundly, Hallmark Newspapers, the organizers of this Town Hall meeting. When I received the invitation to this event, I took time to study it very well. The letter said it is a “Special Town Hall Meeting on ‘let the Records speak’ And again that “the event is part of Hallmark Newspaper’s Democracy Day anniversary activities” I therefore feel safe to conclude that Hallmark Newspaper, by this town hall meeting, is responding to the invitation of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, to Nigerians to join him in his effort to entrench accountable governance in our country.
Mr. President took the lead in that direction by the presentation of his Administration’s Mid- Term Report as the main activity for the 2013 Democracy Day Celebration. consider the idea of this Town hall Meeting by Hallmark Newspaper as a patriotic effort to deepen democracy and promote accountability in our country.
It would be recalled that at that presentation ceremony, Mr. President did not make a formal speech, he rather simply presented his Administration’s Mid Term Report and invited Nigerians, in his words, “to develop their own marking scheme and score his Administration” at the end of its second year in office.
It is on record that, that was the first time any government at the federal level, had provided such an opportunity for the public to have detailed information, with facts and figures, on the activities, policies, programmes and achievements of any Administration in Office. The essence of that is to arm the public with sufficient information on the activities of the government to be able to raise issues, analyse situations, make observations, evaluate policies and actions of government and possibly offer advice or opinion on how to improve good governance, strengthen the institutions of government, facilitate development and deepen democracy.
Let me use this opportunity to convey the appreciation of the Federal Government to well meaning Nigerians who have acknowledged and congratulated President Goodluck Jonathan for not only setting the pace but also delivering on his mandate and promises to Nigerians.
On our part, we have been listening, taking note of advice, suggestions and recommendations from well meaning members of the public arising from the Mid-Term Report. For me today, I have come to listen more to the views, comments, observations, suggestions, advice and if you wit the criticisms of the Public on our Mid-Term Report. I do not intend to make another presentation on the activities, programmes and achievements of the Jonathan Administration in the last two years except to say that by deliberate actions and well thought out strategy Mr.
President meticulously planned his programmes, patiently reviewed them, studiously pursued their implementation and is painstakingly communicating their outcomes to the people of Nigerians and awaiting feedback from the public. The Jonathan Administration has been remarkably outstanding in its record of respect for public opinion; its capacity to accommodate alternative views; its tolerance of dissenting voices; its patience with political opponents and especially its commitment to expand the political space by deliberately encouraging popular participation, consultations and consensus building.
This town Hall meeting presents another unique opportunity to look at the Report Card of this Administration. Let me therefore commend the publisher of Hallmark Newspaper for this invaluable contribution to nation building. | have known Prince Emeka Obasi for a long time and I have always been fascinated by his doggedness, courage and resilience. Whatever Emeka sets his mind to do, he pursues with vigour, commitment and uncommon determination. I congratulate you my brother and recommend your ‘can-do’ spirit to the younger generations of Nigerians. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen I wish to take my seat now, fetch my jotter and pen ready to take copious note of what will be said here today. I therefore welcome you to this dialogue and hope that the outcome will help all of us in our collective desire to move our dear country to the next level.
I thank you for your attention.