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2011: President Goodluck Jonathan can run if ...US

Source: pointblanknews.com
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The United States on Thursday said President Goodluck Jonathan can run for presidency come 2011if he could guarantee a free and fair election.  

According to US Under-Secretary of State, Maria Otero, who visited Jonathan in Abuja,  “When elections are fair and transparent and when everyone can see that every vote counts, the question of them being contested decreases a great deal.

“Democracy in Nigeria has been operating for a long time, and like every democracy, it keeps moving forward and improving itself. 

“We see in (Jonathan) a strong commitment and strong degree of activities in being able to improve democracy and ensure that the next election is fair, transparent, and credible.”

Otero, who was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Sanders, added that, “We believe there is a great deal of commitment in moving forward and taking the necessary steps for fair, credible and transparent elections.    

Also at the Villa was former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman, Barnabas Gemade, who described as “divine zone” the development which threw Jonathan up as President – and said he should go the whole hog.

The man himself is yet to declare his hand. 
However, it is now probably as good as given that he will go for it, with opinion and pressure coalescing North and South, topped up by Washington.

Three days ago, former Health Minister, A.B.C. Nwosu, and former House of Representatives Speaker, Aminu Masari, both members of the PDP Reform Forum, joined calls for Jonathan to run.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo began the drum beat on April 29, which has since been echoed by a coalition of PDP members in the U.S., as well as  by Jonathan's National Assembly (NASS) Assistant, Cairo Ojougboh.

But former All Nigeria People Party (ANPP) acting National Chairman, Nya Asuquo, warned in Calabar on May 16 that Jonathan should not contest, because doing so would mean manipulation of his planned electoral reform in his favour. 

Asuquo argued that even if Jonathan wins the ballot in a free and fair manner it would be difficult for most Nigerians to believe that it was not rigged. 

He said Jonathan running for President would make him lose focus on electoral and power sector reforms, the development of the Niger Delta, and the full implementation of the amnesty programme. 

“Democracy in Nigeria has been operating for a long time, and like every democracy, it keeps moving forward and improving itself. 

“We see in (Jonathan) a strong commitment and strong degree of activities in being able to improve democracy and ensure that the next election is fair, transparent, and credible.”

He said the PDP zoning arrangement in 1999 and 2007 was a matter of necessity that can now be made flexible.