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2011: YAR'ADUA / JONATHAN TICKET STILL STANDS

By NBF News
Imo State Tourism Board member and a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Godwin Dibe, has said that the joint ticket that brought the late president Umaru Yar'Adua and his vice, Goodluck Jonathan to power in 2007, is still the ticket that will be used in 2011 election. Speaking with Daily Sun in Lagos yesterday, Dibe said that some northerners' call for the zoning system to be respected was never violated by anybody other than themselves. 'The issue of zoning should not be a problem here because when the PDP gave the ticket to Yar'Adua and and he picked Jonathan as his deputy, it automatically became a joint thing. If Jonathan decides to vie in 2011, the ticket is still a northern ticket. He is only holding it on their behalf. In fact, Jonathan should contest in order to keep the Yar'Adua/Jonathan ticket alive. If Yar'Adua had been alive today, it would still be a Yar'Adua/ Jonathan ticket for 2011,' he said. Dibe said immediately Jonathan was chosen as Yar'Adua's running mate , he automatically became his heir apparent. 'When the head of a family dies, automatically the heir apparent takes over,' he said. He said that the issue of saying that Jonathan should not run remains illogical, as according to him, the president is only continuing from where his late boss stopped. 'Jonathan is still in line with his former boss' agenda for a better Nigeria. We are still witnessing a Yar'Adua government under the leadership of Jonathan. They should have asked him to remain as vice and pick somebody from the North as our president. It's high time people came to their senses and threw away tribal, ethnic and religious sentiments and thought of how to move this country forward. Nigeria is far behind South Africa and Ghana. This should give us cause for concern. Nigeria is greater than any particular region or zone. What should be utmost in our mind is how to support those who can help make this nation great,' he said. On former president Ibrahim Babangida's plan to contest in 2011, Dibe said the retired general is somebody he respected but that he should drop the ambition and play a fatherly role to leaders in making Nigeria great. 'I like Babangida and I would not like to see him disgraced. He should know that the Yar'Adua/Jonathan joint ticket is yet to expire. He should play a fatherly role to Jonathan and support him in 2011 election. Jonathan is a child of destiny and anyone who tries to oppose him is opposing God's wish,' he said. He advised Jonathan not to run under another party, as he still remains a strong PDP member.