24 February 2014

Nigeria: Jonathan May Reveal Re-Election Bid Today

President Goodluck Jonathan may today tell Nigerians whether he will seek re-election in 2015, Daily Trust has learnt.

During a presidential media chat tonight, Jonathan is billed to respond to questions from a panel of journalists on current national issues and developments.

A source at the Presidential Villa who pleaded not to be named told our correspondent yesterday that today's media chat was, among others, arranged for the president to break silence over his widely perceived ambition for the 2015 presidency.

"It (the presidential media chat) is about oga's declaration of intention for the 2015 elections. It has been arranged that the panel will again raise the question tomorrow (today) so that oga (Jonathan) will have the opportunity to formally disclose whether he is running for 2015 or not. But I'm not telling you oga will contest for the 2015 election. Please, get me clear," he said.

But Jonathan's political adviser Ahmed Gulak, when contacted by telephone, said: "I'm not aware."

In the past few weeks, the president was in Kano, Oyo, Ile-Ife and Lagos to visit top traditional rulers which is seen by many as a prelude to his declaration to contest the 2015 presidency.

The president had also recently attended political rallies in Sokoto, Kano and Owerri to formally receive many defectors of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) back into the party's fold, in what appeared to be a preparation for unveiling his second term bid.

During the last presidential media chat on September 29, 2013, Jonathan said he should not be forced to declare his interest in the 2015 general elections in order not to destabilise the polity.

He also noted then that since the electoral law has a time frame within which political parties and those interested in elections must declare their interests, it was not right for him to declare his interest earlier than the stipulated time.

Jonathan, who denied ever signing or entering into any agreement with anyone that he would not seek a fresh term in 2015, also dispelled insinuations that the political tension in the country was caused by his ambition for the 2015 presidency.

He also said his suggestion of seven-year single term while in Addis Ababa was mistaken for a commitment to stay for only one term.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC, through a statement issued by the Secretary to the commission Mrs. Augusta Ogakwu on January 24, fixed February 14, 2015 for the presidential and National Assembly elections.

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