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Live-Blog: 7th Presidential Media Chat

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8:19: And that’s how the 7th Edition of the Presidential Media Chat officially comes to a glorious end. Thanks so much for staying with the WESTTERN POST. We hope you’ll continue to visit us regularly; Our Web site is updated 24/7 with news, breaking news, opinion and insightful analyses, business, sports, entertainment and much more…

8:16: Jonathan closes his statement by saying Nigerians will go to polls this election and they will elect a new president who would be inaugurated. He urged them to do away with unfounded rumours. President Jonathan says we’re coming from a culture where people don’t care about the process that brings them to power. He said sanity has been returned to the electoral process, an achievement he gives himself credit for.

8:09: Buhari was fair in previous elections than now because of individuals who surround him this election cycle.

8:03: On the botched ceasefire deal with Boko Haram, Mr. President said the major problem about the sect is its facelessness. He said while he was deputy governor, governor and Vice President, he met with the Niger-Delta militants at several occasions. He said this could be due to the fact that the militants had a genuine agitation while Boko Haram remains elusive about its demands.

7:58: Jonathan says Nigeria is sourcing weapons to fight Boko Haram from elsewhere other than the United States, he, however, declined to name any of these countries.

7:54: Mr. President said the $1B loan approved to fight the war against terror has not yet been spent, to avoid sharp practices.

7:51: Jonathan emphasises on the mantra, saying that people who steal from public coffers should be called a thief rather than a corrupt person which most people find confusing.

7:46: Mr. President said about his infamous speech that stealing is not corruption that he was quoting a former Chief Justice of the Federation, Musdapher, who provide court documents that showed that most of the cases tried showed that many are just thieves and corruption is being used as a euphemism.

7:45: I just can’t even imagine somebody insinuating that I am behind Boko Haram, Jonathan

7:44: I’m very hopeful about the fate of the Chibok girls, Jonathan.

7:38: On Chibok girls, Jonathan says he believes the girls would be eventually found, especially now that neighboring countries have joined in the fight against insurgency.

7:36: On the fallout with his erstwhile political associate, like Amaechi and Kwankwoso, Jonathan says there are no permanent enemies or permanent friends but permanent interests. President also said he was asked by an international observers about why political cross carpeting is so rife in the country.

7:32: In the next six weeks, serious advances will be made against Boko Haram. But Mr. President said that’s not to say the insurgency will be totally wiped out within that time.

7:31: I receive invitation to religious gathering largely from the Christian religious organizations. Vice President Sambo gets from the Muslims, Mr. President said while fielding questions about his frequent visits to churches.

7:29: We must protect this country. We own this country. Inciting rhetorics have been in our politics for a lo time.

7:28: If INEC conducts elections poorly, I get the blame. If it does well, I get the glory, Mr. President. “It’s my responsibility to ensure peace in Nigeria,” he added.

7:24: Security issues in the country need to be reexamined. Attacking the president is treasonable. He described political rhetorics as gray areas in the polity.

7:23: I don’t eat turkey, Mr. President said while commenting on misinformation. He referenced a case of a professor who said Jonathan visited him and they both ate turkey.

7:21: I have the power to remove INEC chairman. I appointed all the Resident Electoral Commissioners and the INEC chairman, he said.

7:19: President said he would have wished Jega was present at the media chat to answer question about if he (Jonathan) has confident in him or not.

7:19: No security outfit will take the threatening statements coming from some angles during the elections seriously, says president.

7:16: Jonathan says all IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in Adamawa State will be resettled to their communities in the next few days.

7:14: The visual and audio appears to be okay, for now. And Mr. President said Chadian authority sought involvement from AU and UN to participate in combat against Boko Haram.

7:13: Audio from the media chat is extremely poor right now, and so are the motion images. We’ll continue update soon as the return to the studio.

7:09: INEC did not discuss postponement of elections with me in 2011. I was already at my village when I learnt that elections had been postponed.

7:08: “People are not being fair to me.” Responding to question about the election postponement.

7:02: President says there’s worldwide terrorism threat and Nigeria is not out of it

6:58: Good evening from Lagos where WESTERN POST will be bringing you Live! updates of Goodluck Jonathan’s 7th Presidential Media Chat. I am Samuel Ogundipe.

Tonight’s edition is expected to be distinctive from the previous ones particularly because it’s an election year.

Although Boko Haram still constitutes the bulk of the nation’s worries, the controversial postponement of the 2015 elections previously scheduled for February 14 and 28 is expected to dominate tonight’s conversation, as most of the questions the president is expected to field from the citizens will likely be centered on the circumstances surrounding the postponement.

You’d recall that Prof. Attahiru Jega, the nation’s topmost electoral official, used his Saturday press conference to announce the postponement of the general elections to March 28 and April 11 for presidential and National Assembly elections and state elective positions, respectively.

The major opposition political party, APC, and a section of the international community were at the forefront of criticism the postponement engendered, with many predicting dire consequences for the nation’s nascent democracy. Those loyal to Jonathan’s administration excused INEC for the postponement and absolved the president of any involvement. Those in the middle of the road took a more modest position by taking the announcement with a pinch of salt.

Mr. Jonathan has been holding occasional media chat to address issues of national importance since taking office in 2011. Between 3-5 selected journalists from different media houses will sit with the president; while citizens are expected to participate by sending in their questions via the Internet. Available platforms include, but not always limited to, Facebook and Twitter.

The first media chat was held on September 12, 2011. Three media chats were held in 2012, the first was at the height of fuel subsidy protests in January, the second was on June 24 and last held on November 18. Another chat was held on September 29, 2013. The last media chat was held on May 4, 2014. As usual, tonight’s media chat will be broadcast live from the Presidential Villa on major government-owned mediums like NTA, FRCN and VON.

The official hashtag for the event is #GEJMediaChat
Follow @westernpostNEWS for Twitter updates of the event.

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