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ZONING: AGAIN, HAND OF GOD'LL BACK JONATHAN – GROUP

By NBF News

President Goodluck Jonathan
Everyone is focusing on 2011 whether President Goodluck Jonathan is geo-politically eligible to contest the presidential election or not based on the zoning formula of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP).

But in case he contests and wins the 2011 presidential election, which is more possible than probable, will he be running his first term or second term? Is he running his first term now or completing Yar'Adua's ill-fated term? Can the less-than-14 months he has served as president constitutionally be regarded as his tenure or that of Yar'Adua's with Jonathan starting his full first term in 2011 after contesting the second election in his life?

These questions may sound senseless today, but in 2015, it may become an issue if Jonathan contests and wins the 2011 presidential election within which term he would have shown himself as a full-blown politician which people have so far refused to acknowledge.

A member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the committee on Rules, Business and Ethics, Otuekong Ita Enang, told Daily Sun that Jonathan is already running his first term and as such would not be constitutionally qualified to contest another presidential election in 2015 if he wins that of 2011.

Enang, who led a group, Friends of Democracy for Goodluck Jonathan to speak with reporters in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State recently, explained that the period left of Yar'Adua's tenure which Jonathan is completing should be regarded as his first term and as such, he should be supported to go for a second term after which he should bow out of any other presidential contest in 2015.

The lawmaker, who was accompanied by other members of the group such as Mr Mike Ohia from Imo State, Mr Chidibere Ogbulafor from Abia and Chief Ekong Sampson of the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, said election of Jonathan in 2011 would not disrupt PDP zoning arrangement since he and Yar'Adua had a joint ticket which is still valid with the nomination of Namadi Sambo as the vice president.

'Nigeria needs a President, who can deliver and who can take the nation to the next level. We are encouraged to mobilize support for Jonathan based on his antecedent.

'We have seen the hand of God in his becoming the President of Nigeria even without contesting any election. Even the Constitution of this country was technically suspended for him to become the president because the Bible says the natural laws were suspended for the prophet to achieve God's purpose. So even zoning would be suspended.

'Zoning is a consciousness and not a legalism. We need the president to come and complete all that he has started,' Enang and his group said.

He said friends of democracy for Goodluck, was the largest pro-Jonathan organization in the country; and that they had been going to all sections of the country sensitizing the populace to support Jonathan's presidential bid, hoping that Jonathan would heed the pleas and contest the next presidential election.

He said though there were many other groups campaigning for Jonathan to contest the next presidential election, theirs was the most broad-based as it has membership in all the states, claiming that there are more members from the North than in the South.