NIGERIA: Jonathan Not President of Ijaw Nation, Says PDP

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 The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday cautioned Ijaw leaders threatening war over the second term bid of President Goodluck Jonathan and added that Jonathan was not the President of the Ijaw nation alone, “but the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Also, the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali, debunked allegations by the All Progressives Congress, APC, that the Presidency and the PDP were involved in surreptitious schemes to postpone the February 14 Presidential elections.

The National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Olisa Metuh, who cautioned the Ijaw leaders during an interactive session with newsmen in Abuja, also expressed optimism that if the general election were to hold today, the party would win over 64 per cents of the total votes.

The party also warned its members and supporters against making provocative statements in their course of supporting the re-election of the President.

Metuh said: “Though the PDP should not be held responsible for all their (Ijaw leaders) comments, we caution them to be mindful of what they are saying, especially as it concerns the unity of the country. PDP is a national party.
Though the President is from Bayelsa State, but he could be loved more by the people of Anambra State than the people of Bayelsa State.  The President is not the President of Ijaw nation alone; he is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“Even yesterday in Yola, the President said that he received more votes from the people of Adamawa State than he received from his home state, Bayelsa State. He said that Adamawa State gave him more votes than Bayelsa State, so he is not the President of the Ijaws alone.”

The National Publicity Secretary of PDP also cautioned other supporters of Jonathan to adhere to the presidential directives of ensuring that all campaigns were based on issues and not casting aspersions on candidates.

“The various support groups of the party should be cautious of what they say and ensure that they follow the dictates of the founding fathers of PDP. There is need to respect the sanity of individual privacy and human dignity and avoid issues that are personal to the families of the candidates.

“There is the need to maintain decency and ensure that campaigns are issue-based. This is how we intend our campaigns to be.”

On the evaluation of the campaigns of the party, the spokesman said it had surpassed more than 70 per cent and so far, “if the votes are cast today, the PDP would be winning with more than 64 percent of the total votes in all the elections, including the presidential election.”

Metuh who slammed the APC for making empty promises, dismissed them as unrealisable dreams.

“APC said that they would create three million jobs and pay benefits to the unemployed people. But the PDP is asking: How will they finance these projects that they are promising? These are nothing but empty dreams. We view these promises as mere mirage. The campaigns of the PDP have exposed their mirage and the insincerity of their campaigns.

“The APC said that they would end insecurity and insurgency in the country within three weeks and PDP would like to ask: Did the APC start the insurgency. Are they magicians or voodoo politicians?”

The PDP spokesman said Buhari was already weary of the campaigns and willing to pull out, stating that his body language was indicative that he was tired. According to Metuh, “It is because of the body language of Buhari that he is tired that the APC is accusing the PDP of plotting to shit the presidential election. The body language of Buhari is that he is willing to concede defeat; that is why the APC is claiming that PDP wants to shift the election.

Alleged plot to postpone elections unfounded, says Presidency…
Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali has debunked allegations by the APC that the Presidency and the PDP were involved in surreptitious schemes to postpone the February 14 Presidential elections.

In a press statement issued in Abuja, Alkali said rather than the Presidency and PDP, it is the APC through their members and supporters that had been doing everything possible to frustrate the conduct of a free and fair electoral process.
He alleged that the APC had been breaching the Abuja Peace Accord which all the presidential candidates subscribed to with impunity.

He emphasized that Jonathan had been receiving unprecedented support since he embarked on the nationwide campaign and “he is fully prepared for the election with the PDP.”

Alkali added: “From our tours and the unprecedented outpour of goodwill, we are confident of a wider margin of victory than ever before. We are ready and fully prepared for this election.

“We wish to assure Nigerians that the President is committed to a peaceful and successful conduct of the February 14 polls and will not be distracted by tissues of lies and cocktails of deceit from people who have run out of ideas on how to move our country forward.”

February Election Must Hold, Benin Monarch Insists…
Meanwhile, the Benin monarch, Omo N’ Oba N'Edo Uku Akpolokpolo said in Benin that protagonists pushing for the postponement of the February 14 general election were only calling for anarchy, insisting that election must take place as scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.

He also warned those making inflammatory statements to desist from heating up the polity while predicting that the election will be peaceful in spite of the beating of drums of war by politicians.

The Oba spoke at a press conference through the Benin Forum, an apex body of the Benin people. It was addressed by its Chairman, Chief David Edebiri.

The forum expressed satisfaction with the way and manner the major political parties in Edo South Senatorial District have conducted themselves.

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