28 May 2012

Nigeria: Clark - 2015 Is Diversionary, Says PDP

Photo: Vanguard
President Goodluck Jonathan

In an apparent reaction to the statement credited to the former Minister of Information and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sunday said the call for President Goodluck Jonathan to contest the 2015 presidential election is diversionary, explaining that it is not an issue for discussion at least for now.

The party said discussion on 2015 was the handiwork of the opposition political parties to distract the President from his agenda of transformation.

But reacting Sunday, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said what preoccupies the mind of President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP was how to deliver dividends of democracy to the people of Nigeria.

According to Metuh, what the opposition political parties want at the moment is for PDP to concentrate its efforts on 2015 and then distract the President, adding, "2015 is diversionary, we are not interested in 2015 now, we are more focused and to ensure that we deliver on our promises to the electorate.

"Nigerians do not have to live from election to election and the issue of election at the moment is secondary to us, we are very busy with governance and how to improve on the present situation.

The National Working Committee, NWC that is led by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, was supporting President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure that dividends of democracy were provided for the people of Nigeria. The opposition parties want us to focus on election and who will win or not instead of democracy," Metu said.

Clark while marking his 85th Birthday, said former President Shehu Shagari, contested the presidential election in 1979 and won and in 1983, he contest for the second term in office before he was ousted by the military led former General Muhammadu Buhari.

He also said: "Former President Olusegun Obasanjo contested for the presidential election in 1999 and won and later contested for the second term in office in 2003 and won", asking why the case should be different for President Jonathan.

Accordingly, he said: "Jonathan is a Nigerian. Nigerians voted for him beyond religious and cultural differences. What we should be asking is that he should perform as President in office. If he performs well, the same Nigerians should vote for him he has another term."

Beyond that, Clark said section 137 of the 1999 constitution permits President Jonathan has the constitutional right to seek for a second term in office. I am not aware whether he made any commitment to contest for only one term to Nigerians which is irrelevant at the moment. Personal promises cannot override the constitution of Nigeria."

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