Daily Trust (Abuja)

Nigeria: 2015 - Jonathan May Declare in May

President Goodluck Jonathan may have finally decided to declare his relection bid in May, a source in his supporters' groups told Daily Trust.

"The president will make a formal declaration in May," the source said at the weekend.

He said several dates had earlier been scheduled for the declaration but they were shelved for certain reasons.

He said the declaration was intially scheduled for February, then shifted to March and then April.

Daily Trust learnt that one of the key causes for the delay is fear of court cases over Jonathan's eligibility.

Recently, a court struck out a case challening the president's eligibility for the 2015 presidential race on the grounds that he has not declared if he would run.

The Jonathan team believes that as soon as he declares, it is likely that his challengers will go back to the courts to try to stop him.

"That is why the declaration is being pushed further towards the primaries," the supporters' group official said.

Based on the elections timetable, the parties are expected to conduct their presidential primaries later in the year.

Jonathan had said severally that he was awaiting the elections timetable from the Independent National Electoral Commisison before stating whether he would run or not.

Late in January, INEC released the timetable, fixing presidential and National Assembly elections for February 14, and governorship and state assemblies' elections on February 28.

Daily Trust observed that there are many billboards of Jonathan being erected by his supporters especially in Abuja, specifically asking Nigerians to "vote for Jonathan" unlike before where such billboards were not that categorical.

One of the president's supporters groups has also called a stay-at-Eagle-Square on April 30 until Jonathan declares.

When contacted on if the president would declare in May, presidential political adviser Ahmed Gulak said: "I am not aware that Mr President will declare his intention for 2015 elections in May. I cannot confirm that to you.

"Declaration (for second term) is not on the mind of Mr. president for now. What Mr President is focused on, right now, is security matters. He wants to continue to do everything possible to reduce insecurity to the barest minimum.

"Mr President is also focused on how to deliver services to the people of Nigeria."

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