2011: JONATHAN CAN RUN, IF â€“ ADAMU SONG
Factional National Chairman of the defunct Alliance for Democracy (AD), Alhaji Adamu Song, surely knows where to pull his punches. Last weekend when he spoke to Daily Sun in a telephone interview, he sounded bitter about the controversy surrounding President Goodluck Jonathan's bid and eligibility to contest the 2011 presidential poll.
Contrary to some of his vocal peers in the north, Song delivered a punch, disowning individual northerners who were telling President Goodluck Jonathan not to contest the 2011 presidential poll. As far as Song was concerned, the president was constitutionally guaranteed a place in the race for the presidency.
He is bitter with the likes of Senator Kanti Bello and others who had traveled on the same route regarding the issue of zoning. On the issue, Song said, 'The voice of anybody from the north should not be confused to be the voice of northerners because we do not have one organization that is representing the north.'
According to him, the Senator edthe mandate to speak on behalf of the north since he is only representing his constituency. 'So he doesn't have the capacity to speak for those of us in Adamawa and those of us from Kaduna and many others,' he said.
Excerpt from the interview.
I want you to join this debate on whether Jonathan should contest or not?
Well, first and foremost, I don't think there is anything in the constitution of this country that bars any Nigerian, except as prescribed by the constitution of which I am not aware, like being a female or a convict or something like that. But for anybody to say Jonathan should not contest because of the internal arrangement of a political party, that, to me, as far as I am concerned, is non-existent. The contesting or not contesting of Jonathan will be determined by Nigerians. If Nigerians so wish he should be their President, so be it.
How would they determine whether he should contest or not? How do they do that?
How would Nigerians do that? By his own performance. If he is able to solve about 50 percent of our problem, for God's sake, why should he not continue?
But they are saying that it is the turn of the north.
Unfortunately, I don't work with such an arrangement where they will say it is the turn of the north or the turn of the south.
In other words, you don't believe in zoning arrangements?
Well, I even don't belong to the group of those that are promoting the zoning arrangement. It is PDP that promote zoning and I am not a PDP member. Because I don't believe in all PDP stands for. That is why I don't belong to that political party. So zoning is not an exception.
So Jonathan can run?
Let Jonathan perform and he would be President of Nigeria as long as the constitution permits.
We are hearing the voices of some northerners. Kanti Bello for instance is saying Jonathan betrayed Yar'Adua.
That is his own opinion. He is entitled to it. Do we say that Yar'Adua also betrayed some people? So it is his own opinion. He is entitled to it. But the voice of anybody from the north should not be confused to be the voice of the northerners, because we do not have one organization that is representing the North. If it is the meeting or a congregation of the meeting of all the northern governors, all the northern senators, all the northern chairmen or council men that form a committee that will now say no, then that one will now be the influence of the voice of the people. But Kanti Bello is only representing one senatorial constituency of the north. So, he doesn't have the capacity to speak for those of us from Adamawa and those of us from Kaduna and many others. In fact in his case, he is not speaking for the whole of the people. In fact, in his constituency, I want to believe that he is not speaking for anybody in that constituency. So, let him not distract people's attention. President Jonathan should not be going into any argument now. Let him concentrate on the business of governance. And in the end, he will see how Nigerians will clamor for his presidency.
You have been with IBB for long. In fact, you favoured his candidacy at a point.
Now that he has shown interest in the race, should he contest along with President Jonathan?
Of course. IBB should contest. Why not? That is why I said Jonathan has the opportunity to endear himself to everybody. He should concentrate and perform. If he performs and Nigerians see what he has been able to do, they would want him to continue. And for those of us in the north, it gives an opportunity to Jonathan to unite Nigeria for the better.
How will he unite Nigeria ? By performing wonderfully well and every section of interest in Nigeria will support him. Like what Fashola is doing in Lagos . I cannot see any voice that will be raised against Fashola. So if Jonathan is able to perform like that, he will be the darling of Nigerians. Anywhere out of the 774 local governments he goes, the people will be saying the cap fits him. He doesn't even need to go out and campaign. It is opportunity for him to campaign between now and 2011 by performing, by doing the business of democracy to Nigerians and he will be surprise what Nigeria will do for him. If he allows this controversy to distract him by listening to the arguments, whether he should contest or he should not contest and he would get distracted.