We ‘ll support him if he upholds rule of law, says Bafarawa
By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
ABUJAâ€”Indications that President Goodluck Jonathan might contest the 2011 presidential election emerged, yesterday, as elder statesman and founding member of the Peopleâ€™s Domcratic Party, PDP, Prince Emma Anyanwu, has said the Yarâ€™Adua/Jonathan joint ticket remains valid till 2015.
He argued in statement that in spite of the death of President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua, the joint ticket remained relevant till the end of two terms.
Prince Anyanwu, therefore, faulted the position of some Northern elders requesting President Jonathan to vacate Aso Villa at the end of the current term in 2011.
The PDP foundation member insisted that there was no provision in the nationâ€™s constitution nor that of the PDP that barred the president from seeking re-election, adding that another term for Jonathan would indeed bring about stability in the polity, as well as, development policies and programmes.
According to the statement:Â â€œPresident Goodluck Jonathanâ€™s ascension of power as the President of Nigeria following the unfortunate death of late President Umaru Musa Yar Adua is based on being a joint holder of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, presidential ticket given to the late President and himself in 2007.
The statements of our elders of Northern extraction who are calling on President Jonathan not to run for 2011 are therefore not coming from the point of view of the constitution which clearly spelt out the mode of succession to the office of Presidency in Nigeria
â€œPresident Jonathan is not breaking the rule. He is fully keeping to the spirit of our constitution by assuming the office of the President now to continue with the joint ticket given him and late President Yar Adua in 2007.”
â€œSince the joint ticket is presumed to be for an eight-year tenure by the Peoples Democratic Party which gave it to them and since Jonathan cannot come back to serve as Vice President after ascending to the position of President due to the death of late President Yar Adua, it is just and lawful for him to complete the remaining five years of the joint ticket.
Jonathanâ€™s case is the first we are experiencing under our constitution and it would be fair on the part of every well meaning Nigeria to support President Jonathan to complete remaining term of the ticket.
We should emulate other democracies who have witnessed this situation.
â€œThere is nothing in our constitution that says President Jonathan should not run to complete their joint ticket in 2015. As our nation strives to advance democratic principles, we should grow our democracy soundly. Examples abound in other democracies of Vice Presidents who have been allowed to complete the joint tickets of their predecessor upon the death of such predecessor.
â€œAndrew Johnson, Harry Truman, Theodore Roosevelt and Lyndon B JohnsonÂ are examples from the United States of America which has continued to be a model of our democracy and these great men continued with the joint tickets given to them and their predecessors.
â€œWe should allow Nigeria to move forward rather than threatening the existence of the nation with our utterances. Our general expectation should be how to run a country where everybody will have a sense of belonging, bearing in mind our national anthem.
â€œRather than mourn the loss of our great leader, our people are busy thinking of who will run for Presidency that has not expired. We should be happy to thank GodÂ that we have a man like President Jonathan who showed loyalty to his boss till death and openly promised to complete his programmes. This promise signifies the commitment of their joint ticket.
â€œWe should not see President Jonathan as a man from any single region or tribe now. We should see Jonathan in the spirit of a joint ticket and support him to achieve and actualize the programme that will immortalize his boss in the spirit of one Nigeria .
â€œMy fear is that when we start harping on him not to complete this joint ticket, people from his zoneÂ might start thinking otherwise in a country where everybody has equal right to aspire for any position.
I call on those threatening President Jonathan not to run for the completion of their tenure to join all well meaning Nigerians in ensuring that the President complete the programmes of his boss which also entails completion of their remaining tenure of the eight-year joint ticket.
â€œThose calling on the President not to run are distractions which the President cannot afford now that he is busy trying toÂ give Nigerians stable electricity, credible electoral system, lasting and sustainable economic growth and development as well as make our nation truly prosperous in line with our abundant resources and opportunities.
â€œPresident Jonathan is a man of peace. We Nigerians are desirous of good governance and we should therefore support him in actualizing the joint ticket dream of Yar Adua/Jonathan and move the country forward. This is the feeling of the common man in Nigeria and not those who are locked in sharing position and not developing the nation and create employment for our teaming youths, who have remained unemployedâ€.
We ‘ll support him if he upholds rule of law, says Bafarawa
Former Governor of Sokoto State, Alhaji Attahiru Bafarawa, has said the opposition political parties in the country could support Dr Goodluck Jonathanâ€™s presidency on the condition that he sustains the rule of law principle enunciated by late President, Umaru Yar’ Adua and keep former President, Olusegun Obasanjo away from influencing the policies of government.
In an interview with newsmen yesterday, Alhaji Bafarawa said God has put Jonathan in a position as president and he should not pander to the whims of any man.
According to the former governor of Sokoto State who contested the 2007 presidential election on the platform of the Democratic Peopleâ€™s Party, DPP, â€œWe will support Jonathan to sustain the rule of law principle and to deepen the nationâ€™s nascent democracy.Â These are achievable.Â It is a challenge of leadership for him to prove that the youth are capable of rulership.
â€œGod has put him in the exalted position of president and not any man and if he makes the mistake of pandering to the whims of a godfather instead of the Almighty God, he runs the risk of being abandoned by God,â€ he warned.
Alhaji Bafarawa warned the new president not to allow the former president Olusegun Obasanjo to â€˜tele-guide and mislead him into taking actions that would destabilize the country.Â He should cut off from Obasanjo and be wary of his advice.
â€œObasanjo tried to destabilize this country for the eight years he was president but God ensured that he failed.Â Now, he is making moves to influence the new President in his actions and appointmentsâ€ the former governor said
He advised the former president to give account of his alleged involvementÂ in Halliburton bribery scandal, stressing that if president Obasanjo is called to account for his involvement â€œthis should keep him in check and restrain him from meddling in the affairs of government.â€
He said it is the â€˜collective responsibility of all well meaning Nigerians to ensure the stability of the nation.Â This is why Jonathan should ensure that all agents of destabilization are dealt withâ€™.