By Nwaorgu Faustinus
The faction of the Peoples Democratic Party spearheaded by Alhaji Baraje, a frontline politician of nPDP has advised the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan to forgo his 2015 presidential ambition as it is not in the “best interest of the country”. The splinter PDP made its position known in a statement issued and signed by Mr Eze Chukwuemeka Eze. According to the statement, “as a patriotic group that cares about the
present and future of our great country, and that wants President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to succeed, the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after reviewing the state of the nation and the pulse of Nigerians, wishes to advise President Jonathan to abandon his plan to seek re-election in 2015 as this ambition of his is not in the best interest of the country.
Continuing, the faction said though Mr. President is yet to categorically declare his intention to run, he has given enough clue that he is working towards doing so. “The latest of such clues came on Sunday in New York, USA. Speaking at a luncheon with Nigerian professionals in the United States, President Jonathan insisted that he is eligible to contest in 2015 as we have a constitution that makes a provision for a maximum of eight years for anyone who wants to become a president or a governor.”
The breakaway PDP said it is worried that Mr. President is intent on running despite his earlier promise not to do so and in spite of the wise counsel of well-meaning Nigerians, including respected elder statesmen.
The rest of the statement reads:
“In February, 2011 while interacting with Nigerians and diplomats working in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union (AU) in Ankara, Turkey, President Jonathan clearly stated: “I would have loved that the Nigerians in Diaspora vote this year (2011) but to be frank with you, that is going to be difficult now. Presently, the law does not allow the voting outside Nigeria and so this year Nigerians in Diaspora will not vote but I will work towards it by 2015 even though I will not be running for election.” Mr. President went ahead to add: “Four years is enough for anyone in power to make significant improvement and if I can’t improve on power within this period, it then means I cannot do anything even if I am there for the next four years.”
“This is a historical fact which Mr. President himself cannot deny now since he had two years to deny that statement but never did so. How does Mr. President want Nigerians and the entire world to see him for this volte face? Why can he not keep his words as a man of honour instead of allowing himself to be misled by selfish advisers to go back on his words, thereby overheating the polity?
“Mr. President should heed the advice of well-meaning distinguished personalities such as constitutional law guru, Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN) and Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, all of whom have advised him to correctly read the handwriting on the wall and stay away from the 2015 presidential race.
“By 2015, President Jonathan would have served our nation for six solid years. This, surely, is enough time for him to achieve whatever he is capable of doing for Nigeria. What else is he looking for that is making him desperate to participate in the 2015 presidential election despite warnings that doing so may spark a chain of events capable of culminating into the country’s disintegration thereby bringing to pass the predictions of Lord Lugard that Nigeria as a nation by 2014 maybe history, which was later confirmed by the USA Think-Tank that Nigeria may disintegrate by 2015. Apart from all these, should President Jonathan contest and win by 2015 it means he would have spent ten years in office and will be sworn in three times as the President of Nigeria against the Provisions of the country’s constitution.
“We wish to appeal to Mr. President to abandon this ill-advised move and save our nation from catastrophe. God has been merciful to you, Mr. President, lifting you from being a university teacher to President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in so short a time is something you should be grateful and be contented with. We urge you Mr. President to listen to the voice of reason and avoid overstretching your good luck. A word is enough for the wise”.