The polity was astir, yesterday, with mixed views on President Goodluck Jonathan’s elaborate declaration to seek for re-election.
Leaders of the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) yesterday insisted that the timing was wrong and insensitive, given the killing of 47 students in Potiskum, Yobe State, adding that they will give President Jonathan a thorough electoral beating at the 2015 polls.
However, the Professor Ben Nwabueze-led Igbo Leaders of Thought, ILT backed the President’s re-election bid, saying it believes the president has the wisdom and capacity to transform the country into a better united nation.
House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, said Jonathan was leading a malfunctioning government just as the Labour Party, LP, described as unnecessary criticisms of the president’s action because he has the constitutional right to do so.
Rising from a meeting in Enugu, the ILT Executive Committee Deputy Chairman, Professor Chiweyite Ejike, commended Jonathan “For his wisdom in convening the National Conference, his humility, tolerance and ability to remain focused amid multiple distractions the country has never experienced before now. Some of these landmines are man-made but God gave Nigeria a wise and humble leader at this time of great tribulation.
Labour faults critics of Jonathan’s formal declaration
The Labour Party, LP faulted criticisms of President Goodluck Jonathan’s formal declaration to run for office for a second term, describing it as unnecessary.
In a statement by its National Secretary, Mr Olukayode Ajulo, the party described the declaration as the president’s fundamental right as enshrined in the Constitution.
“Jonathan has the right to present himself for election just as the Constitution gives Nigerians equal right to elect or reject him” the party stated.
It noted that the declaration, like others by various aspirants from other political parties, is an action that will deepen the nation’s democratic experiments.
The party equally faulted allegations that Boko Haram was created by the government to cause destabilization and shift focus from 2015 general elections. Noting that the Boko Haram pre-dated the Jonathan administration, LP said “such unfounded allegation is myopic and amounts to trying to score cheap political points with an issue that threatens the corporate existence of the country.”
Jonathan danced on the grave of dead students, APC insists
In Benin City, the Edo State capital, the national leadership of the APC and governors of the party led by Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, at a rally, faulted the second term declaration of President Jonathan, saying that the President danced on the graves of innocent children, who were killed by the Boko Haram sect.
Jonathan will lose Bayelsa in 2015 – Oshiomhole
On his part, Governor Oshiomhole declared that President Jonathan will lose in his Bayelsa State in 2015 and be sacked from Aso Rock for an APC President to take over, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal insisted that the PDP- led administration had failed the country, noting that Nigerians were deceived to vote President Jonathan in his first tenure, stressing that Nigerians must not vote any more based on sentiments but on credibility irrespective of the tribe of the person.
The leaders, who spoke at the six years anniversary celebration of Oshiomhole as governor of Edo include; National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie Oyegun; National leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; Chief Audu Ogbeh, former Head of State, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) and former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Other dignitaries include Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Governor Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State; Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who was represented by his deputy; former governor of Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva; former governor of Ekiti State, Niyi Adebayo; Senator Chris Ngige; Chief Segun Oni, former governor of Ekiti State; APC national and state Assembly members; representatives of the Oba of Benin and many others.
At the well attended rally, former Minister of State for Works, Engr Chris Ogienwonyi and his supporters defected to the APC from the PDP.
Governor Oshiomhole, who reeled out his achievements in the last six years pooh poohed Jonathan’s comment that the PDP will capture Edo and Rivers states in 2015 and 2016.
He said: “When President Jonathan was here in September to launch the South-South rally of the PDP, he was reported as saying that Edo State will fall to PDP.
He went on to say that Rivers will fall to PDP. Look at the word he used ‘fall.’ I want to put him on notice that Edo State is not an enemy territory to be felled by an Armed Forces and the Commander-in-Chief must not target Edo for falling, Edo will stand and march on. On the contrary, APC will defeat the President in Bayelsa State.
“APC will defeat PDP in Rivers State. APC will defeat PDP in Cross River State. APC will defeat PDP in Delta State. APC will continue to bury PDP in Edo State. What is the score card of the PDP in Edo State and in Nigeria? The PDP has commissioned the resurfacing of Ofusu to Benin in a period of 16 years.
That is all PDP has to show in Edo State over a period of 16 years. Don’t forget that the PDP Federal Government controls 52.8 per cent of declared Federal allocation. Don’t ask me what is not declared.
“So I ask the President, with all due respect, what his party the PDP has done in Edo State. This afternoon, I want to remind you of those powerful statements made by the Edionwere of Benin Kingdom, Chief Edebiri who said that this generation of Edo people will never again vote for anybody who carries an umbrella that is torn. In 2011, the President scored 96 per cent in this state. Let him show us the 96 per cent contribution of development from PDP. All we see is PDP appropriating federal money in the name of SURE-P, which is SURE-Fraud…
“By the special grace of God, by February next year, we will not vote on the basis of tribalism. we will vote on the basis of who provides power. For 16 years PDP keep promising power but it is clearly power to their stomach. As long as PDP is in power, Nigerian people will be out of power. For as long as PDP has power, Nigerian people will never have power.’’
How Jonathan erred –Tinubu
On his part, Asiwaju Tinubu, who commended Oshiomhole for his achievements in Edo State, said President Jonathan made a blunder by declaring openly when girls abducted in Chibok by the Boko Haram sect were either killed or yet to be found.
According to him, “Jonathan is stepping on the blood of Nigerian children and dancing on their graves by declaring yesterday (Tuesday). A wise President will stay in the villa and declare his intention to run in the memory of those children. He said he will not step on the blood of anybody to be re-elected but he is dancing on their blood. No leadership of any nation will sit idle and watch any part of its own territory being taken away by the so-called insurgents.
“Mubi is the second largest commercial town in Adamawa state, if it has been taken by the insurgents, then this President should resign. If a military barrack equipped with our weapon to fight the insurgents, the armoury was abandoned and the soldiers fled, leaving the weapons for the insurgents under your watch and you said you want to run again, no. God forbids, if you refuse to go, we will sweep you away.’’
He warned the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC against collaborating with the PDP to rig the forthcoming elections and berated the commission for reducing the number of voters in Lagos from the six million used in the 2011 elections to 4.8 million.
We have a malfunctioning govt in place –Tambuwal
Tambuwal blasted the PDP-led federal government saying, “The system we have in place today is malfunctioning.
The government at the centre has failed in several ways and when you have a system that is not working, what do you do? You change to a better system that will deliver. The objective is to deliver good roads, provide security, enhance development in this country.
“What we have at the moment is a cabal that has hijacked the instrument of authority of the Nigerian people and we will do everything humanly possible come May 2015 to ensure that they are out of the villa.”
and what we have is a progressive government of APC. When they came here last time, they said you should vote for him that he is from the South-South. But what have the people of the South-South benefited from this presidency in the last few years?
“When he came, he rode on the sentiment of being a minority, what have the minorities of Nigeria have to show in the last four years? Don’t be deceived again. All of us have been deceived before when we were persuaded that we needed to have this personality in government for some reasons. But it has been proven beyond reasonable doubt that he has not provided good governance. All of us must agree that what we need in Nigeria is good governance and whoever can provide that should be the leader of this country not minding where he is from,” he remarked.