Atiku urges the Jonathan to get ready to contest
urges the Jonathan to get ready to contest
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has dismissed the claim by President Goodluck Jonathan that linking him with 2015 presidential race was distracting him from fufilling his electoral promises. Rather, Atiku urged the President to get ready to contest the election since he is constitutionally qualified to do so.
Atiku, who spoke through his media aide, Mallam Shehu Garba, advised the President to stop pretending, because it is well known that he is qualified to run just like himself.
In like manner, the Congress for Positive Change (CPC) described the statement issued by Presidential Adviser on Media, Dr Rueben Abati last Sunday as “diversionary and mere political rhetoric.”
CPC’s Secretary-General, Engr. Buba Galadima, who spoke to the Nation, said Nigerians know what to believe and when to so do.
The Presidency last Sunday vehemently refuted insinuations that President Jonathan was working towards contesting the 2015 presidential election.
Abati had warned those peddling the rumour to leave the President out of the “hue and cry” over the 2015 presidential race and allow him deliver on his promises to Nigerians.
He described the insinuations as “irritating distraction’ that was getting out of hand and must be reined in.
But Garba viewed the clarification as unnecessary. He told the Nation that the President did not owe anybody any explanation since zoning, the only caveat he said could have necessitated an explanation, no longer exists or has any more relevance or consequence on whoever wants to run for Nigeria’s presidency.
“Our position is clear. At least as far as the Atiku Abubakar Organisation is concerned, that clarification is unnecessary and uncalled for. the President knows that he is very well qualified to run for the presidency of the country in 2015, if he so wishes. And so, we can only tell him to go ahead if he so desires. He does not owe anybody any apology.
“The reason, as we said before, is that zoning, as a political arrangement, is dead. Therefore, anybody from anywhere, as long as he has met all the constitutional requirements, is free to contest.
“And we also want everybody to know that the Turaki (Atiku) is eminently qualified to vie for the presidency of the country in 2015 also. It is important to ask people to stop making pretences about 2015 because there is nothing stopping anybody from contesting.”
Galadima, who said it was difficult to believe those who fail to live by their promises, said he was among the people in the Save Nigeria Group (SNG) who fought to ensure that President Jonathan was named the Acting President, but he regretted that the promises he (Jonathan) made in those days were not fulfilled.
He said: “As far as the CPC is concerned, the President’s claims are political rhetoric and diversionary tactic. We all know what people are capable of doing. We know those who can keep their promises and those who can’t keep theirs. We know those whose antecedents would make it difficult for us to believe them.
“I participated fully in ensuring that Jonathan was made Acting President, and I still remember the promises he made then that if he was allowed to complete Yar’Adua’s tenure and conduct a credible election, he would have achieved his life ambition. But we all know better today.
“Secondly, when he came in and even without a cabinet, barely a month, he started the talk of a seven-year single term. How do you reconcile that with what he is now saying to Nigerians? He knows that he has become unpopular and that his rating has plummeted and so he just introduced that as a diversionary tactic.
“Even the media missed a vital point by failing to read between the lines as far as Gen. Azazi’s comment in Asaba is concerned. He is only castigating the North so as to pave way for President Jonathan’s ambition in 2015."
However, the northern socio-political organisation, Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), said yesterday that Nigerians should learn to believe the President who said he was not interested in contesting the 2015 presidential election.
The National Publicity Secretary of the Forum, Anthony Sani, told the Nation that “there is nothing new in what you asked me to react to, precisely because ACF has made it clear that it is not proper to start politics of 2015 within one year in office. ACF has said this is time for governance and not politics. Politics should wait for when the whistle blows.
“President Jonathan told the world in Adis Ababa that a president who cannot make a difference in the life of his nation in four years is most unlikely to do so if given more years. I honestly do not know why some people are too eager to doubt Mr. President’s words of honour.”
The ACF maintained that electing President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2011 general election was a vote of no confidence by the nation on the principle of zoning and rotation even though the south practically blackmailed the north into accepting the principle of power shift and rotation.
“You would agree that the politics of power shift or rotation and zoning were espoused during the 1994-95 constitutional conference by the South, which morally blackmailed the North into accepting it in order to foster harmony, stability, equity and sense of belonging across the nation.
“But by voting President Jonathan in 2011, one may not be totally wrong to submit that it is the nation’s way of passing judgment against politics of rotation and zoning.
“As democrats, Northerners accept the verdict. But that is not to suggest the North will not play politics of 2015. I am sure the North will still play politics, which may not be on the basis of rotation or zoning.”
Atiku urges the Jonathan to get ready to contest
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