Leadership (Abuja)

31 August 2012

Nigeria: South-East Leaders Endorse Jonathan for Second Term

President Goodluck Jonathan has been urged to seek another four year tenure in 2015 with an assurance of support from the south-east zone.

The president who was on a one-day visit to Anambra State yesterday was assured by the state governor Mr. Peter Obi that if he decides to go for another tenure to complete his work, he will get the backing of the people of the state.

Governor Peter Obi assured Jonathan that he is very much loved by the people of the state, and that they do not regret voting for him.

Businessman, Arthur Eze also said that since it is constitutional for presidents to take two tenures of four years each, Jonathan should not shortchange himself or disappoint his supporters by refusing to go for another tenure: "Obasanjo took eight years; we are calling on you to take another four years as one term is too short for you to finish the job you have at hand. You can consider giving power to the north after your eight years, so that they will return it to the south-east after their own eight years," Eze stated.

Jonathan in his remarks described the south-east as where he has the most popularity even though his posters were torn and some of his campaign offices burnt during the 2011 presidential campaigns. "The only time a youth was caught tearing my poster, it turned out that he was removing it to paste in his house. I feel like I am in my home any time I am in the south-east, particularly in Onitsha. I can walk around without security," he said.

He pointedly referred to the people of the south-east as "my people", saying that he even instructed his security men "not to push anybody today because they are all my people".

In yet another twist to the resignation of Prof. Barth Nnaji from the federal cabinet, the president declared that the minister did no wrong. "Let me use this opportunity to say that Professor Nnaji did not do anything wrong," the president told his audience at a town hall meeting in Onitsha he addressed on arrival for a one-day official visit to Anambra State.

The former minster "decided to step aside", he said, indicating that it was a voluntary resignation rather than a sack. "He did not commit any offence", he restated.

According to the president, "It is just that integrity is our watchword and when people came to say this or that, he decided to step aside."

He said Nnaji's departure would not affect his administration's commitment to power sector transformation as the search was already on "for another very qualified person to man that office" but he could not assure the south-east of producing Nnaji's replacement.

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