Mixed reactions trail ruling on Jonathan
By EMEKA MAMAH & HENRY UMORU
MIXED reactions yesterday trailed the Abuja High Court ruling that President Goodluck Jonathan had the constitutional right to seek re-election into office in 2015.
The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, hailed the court ruling saying that the victory was for Nigeria’s democracy.
However, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, pooh-poohed the ruling saying that the last cannot be said to have been heard about the matter until the Supreme Court had decided on it.
National Publicity Secretary of ACF, Mr Anthony Sani, who reacted to the court judgement said, ‘’You should know that it is not the end of the court process. Don’t you know that the litigant will make sure they exhaust the court processes as laid down by the law? You would recall it was the Supreme Court which ruled that the period served by the six governors before their re-runs must count.
Left to the High Court and Appeal Court, such periods should not count, and those governors who had re-runs should serve for more than the maximum of eight years. So, let us wait until the court processes are exhausted.’’
However, in a statement signed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, it noted that with the judgment, it was then left for the party and Nigerians to decide on the next line of action ahead of 2015.
APGA Chairman, Chief Maxi Okwu also hailed the judgement.
Okwu said ‘’Jonathan has right to seek re-election. The constitution did not provide for one and a half tenure of office for the presidency. He has the right to contest for another four years as his final term in office. What I actually detest is the politics of his nomination in his party.
I detest the idea of some people holding him to ransom that he signed agreement to serve for one term. He only exhausted President Musa Yar’Adua term in 2010. It was another person’s term.
We don’t have one and a half term of office in the constitution,’’ pointing out that it was wrong for some Nigerians to intimidate the President for allegedly signing a-one-term agreement with them.’’
But Metuh stated, “The leadership of the PDP applauds the ruling by the FCT High Court that President Goodluck Jonathan, as a Nigerian, has the constitutionally guaranteed right to seek re-election in 2015.
‘’This landmark ruling is yet another victory to the nation’s democracy. It has laid to rest the unnecessary debate on whether or not the President is constitutionally eligible to seek re-election in 2015.
“The court held that President Jonathan is in his first term, which commenced on the 29th of May, 2011 and thus is free to seek a second term in office in the 2015 general election under the platform of the PDP or any other political party.
“The import of this judgment is that it is now left for the PDP as party and Nigerians to decide, through legitimate processes, whether or not to return President Jonathan to the Presidency in 2015 if he indicates interest.
‘’With the ruling, it is now left for the President, the PDP and the people to decide and not for some people to try to stop others from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights through intimidations and harassment.”
The party however asked Nigerians to continue to be law abiding and resist alleged attempts by desperate politicians to truncate the system through the distortion of the facts of the law, even as it assured that it would continue to focus on the welfare of Nigerians in line with the Transformation Agenda of the President Jonathan-led administration.