2015: OUTRAGE OVER JONATHAN'S PERCEIVED AMBITION
The indication that Jonathan would throw his hat into the ring was given by his political god-father and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, who spoke in an interview to mark his 85th birthday in Abuja Thursday.
Clark spoke against the backdrop of the resolution by the 19 Northern Governors' Forum of Nigeria, NGFN, not to support any presidential candidate from the Southern part of the country in 2015.
Apart from Ohanaeze Ndigbo and the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, individuals who spoke
included a PDP member of Board of Trustees, BoT, Yahaya Kwande, Olopade Agoro, former Governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa, Col Joe Achuzia, rtd, a chieftain of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, Alhaji Isiaku Ibrahim, and a Benin- based Constitutional lawyer, Olayinka Afolabi among others. National Secretary of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya said Jonathan promised Ndigbo that he would spend only five years in office, pointing out that if he has changed his mind to stay longer, he would meet Ohanaeze for re-negotiation, since it was generally agreed that it ''is our turn to produce the next president after Jonathan.''
President Goodluck Jonathan
However, Yahaya Kwande dared Jonathan to test his popularity in 2015 saying that the North would not be intimidated by his candidacy, just as an Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Igbozurume said that it was the turn of Ndigbo to produce the 2015 president.
We shall meet in the field- Yahaya Kwande
I am not surprised that Chief Edwin Clark made that statement. It was the like of Clark , who really brought Jonathan to power. They made him to break the PDP agreement on how presidency would be rotated in the party. And that action by Clark and his likes denied the north the right to contest for presidency in 2011. He is at it today. What he has reportedly said amounts to repeating himself. But what I can say is that we are not shaken by that statesment. We shall meet in the field.
Opportunity for PDP's defeat - Balarabe Musa
Former Governor of old Kaduna State and Chairman of the Coalition of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP, Alhaji Balarabe Musa said Jonathan had the 'inalienable right'' to contest any election, adding however that it was for those opposed to him to come together and rally behind a candidate that could defeat him.
'President Jonathan has the inalienable right to contest the 2015 general election, but you know that he has no morality; he is not on any moral high ground to do so. This is a man who defied the zoning arrangement of his party even though he was a signatory to the decision that the south would rule for eight years before it would return to the north for another eight years.
Clark has right to express his views--Isyaku Ibrahim
We are in a democracy and everyone has the right to say what he feels. Clark has the right to express his own views on national issues. The president also has the right to do whatever he wants, but I cannot say anything, because Jonathan has not said that he will contest. I am in CPC and they are in PDP. Every individual has the right to say what he likes because we are in a democracy.
The statement was reckless and ill-timed-Olopade Agoro
The statement credited to Chief Edwin Clark is unexpected of an elder statesman. It was a reckless statement because Jonathan has not been able to have a focus since he was elected and someone is talking about 2015. I will say that bit was a reckless and ill-timed statement. And a statement like that is capable of setting the country aflame and also breed necessary passion. Jonathan's presidency is already a threat to the nation. This kind of statement at this time is capable of bringing down his government.
Olayiwola Afolabi, a Benin based constitutional lawyer and Notary Public also asked the Ijaw National leader, Chief Clark to allow Nigerians decide the political fate of President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
Afolabi said that although the President has the right to contest the 2015 presidential election, Nigerians were yet to savour the dividends of democracy since he assumed power a year ago as all basic infrastructures that would have bettered the lives of Nigerians have gone comatose.
'It is only Nigerians that can decide whether he will contest or not. He has messed up the judiciary particularly with the way he is handling the Justice Ayo Salami case. Virtually all basic infrastructures such as power, education, health etc, e have gone comatose.
This is time for governance, not 2015 - Anthony Sani, ACF
I am not aware that Chief Edwin Clark now speaks for President Jonathan.This is because he is not the spokes man. As a result,I cannot have a take on the basis of what he claims to say for the president.
However, it bears repeating that this time is not for politics of 2015,but for governance.I thought Mr President would be allowed to concentrate on the task of delivering on the promise of democracy instead of pushing him into politics of 2015 within one year of his inauguration.
It is too early to forget that President Jonathan told the world in Addis Ababa that four years were enough for him to deliver.
Abu King Shukuwa
Peoples Democratic Party stalwart, Chief Abu King Shukuwa said the constitutional right of President Goodluck Jonathan to run for the 2015 presidential election is not questionable but noted that it behoves the PDP to either decline his candidature or offer him the ticket.
His words, 'Everybody in Nigeria as a Nigerian is free to contest for the presidency because the constitution of the country guarantees that, but whether he emerges or not depends on the party.
But one thing is certain, he will definitely not enjoy the support of all Nigerians. Even in Bayelsa State, there will be people who will not support him.
'I for one will not support him, but if he picks the party's ticket, I will vote for him as a true and loyal party man.'
Secretary General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nduka Eya
Ohanaeze has come out with its stand about the president and there is a book in which our President General, Chief Ralph Uwechue, had analyzed since three years ago. We do not want to dabble into politics, but the fact is that when Jonathan was contesting, he said he will only do only one term. That was what he said. So, the stand of Ohanaeze about presidency 2015 is clear. These are facts.
If Jonathan changes his mind which he has a right to change as a citizen, our position has always been consistent. Equality of zones as envisaged in geopolitical creation by Karibi-Whyte committee on the review of the Constitution is that the present geopolitical zones should remain: South-South, South East, South West, North East, North Central and Northwest. And it has been operational and they call it conventional.
So, Igbo people supported Jonathan for the same argument that this project called Nigeria belongs to all of us, and that at 52 years, a section of this country has monopolized the leadership of that master-key position called the president.If he wants another term, we have to renegotiate.