By NBF News

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Plateau State, Ambassador Yahaya Kwande, has said that he is still optimistic that President Goodluck Jonathan would see reason and withdraw from the presidential race, even as he insisted that the party has deceived him.

Speaking to Daily Sun in Jos, he said the president has no business contesting the presidential election in 2011 because he is not a northerner: 'I still believe that he will see the truth and withdraw. In the event he does not withdraw, Nigerians would tell him that he was wrong in the first place to have even indicated to contest.'

He said he was optimistic that he would be defeated at the primaries and nothing would happen to PDP as the party would remain intact:

'If the party has been a principled organization or a party that has a target and perception to assist Nigerians, it would have obeyed the constitution of the country and that of the party Jonathan belongs to and not allow Jonathan to contemplate running for the presidency on the party's ticket.'

Kwande said that sycophants that are always at the corridors of power misleading  leadership are the ones deceiving Jonathan, pushing him on to contest: 'It is not a complicated matter because the constitution emphases federal character and the party's constitution also talks of rotation of power between the South and the North.'

He insisted that after the South has had its slot, Jonathan cannot go into 2011 without respecting that aspect of the constitution. The PDP leadership, he said, was naïve in saying that Jonathan can contest because 'they said we will maintain and sustain zonal arrangement and sharing power between the South and the North. They went further to deceive us that Jonathan can contest, but did not complete the statement by telling him that he can contest on any of the remaining political parties' platform.'

He berated those saying that the Jonathan/ Sambo ticket has already been decided in heaven: 'It is only those who have the mental capacity of people  making such statements that would believe such a thing'

Kwande was optimistic that PDP aspirants from the North would agree on a consensus candidate despite all the machinery put in place by all of them to campaign for the presidential ticket under the same party:

'All of them are coming out strong to contest because they cannot go to bed and sleep until one of them is selected.' He promised that once one of them is selected, all the other campaign apparatus would collapse to give backing to the consensus candidate.

He said the Adamu Ciroma Committee working on the selection of the consensus candidate is being careful and responsible, 'making serous consultations with all regions of the country, so that when a consensus candidate is named, majority of the people would agree that a thorough work had been done.'