President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the crisis rocking the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) notwithstanding, puts the party as one to beat in the country come 2015.
The President made this disclosure on Saturday in Paris in an interview he granted to selected pressmen at the close of a two-day summit on peace and security in Africa, hosted by President Francois Hollande of France.
Reacting to the recent defection of some of the seven aggrieved governors of the PDP to the expressed that while the party would continue to pursue the path of reconciliation, the move by the governors would not hamper the success of the PDP in future elections.
“We want those governors to come back to PDP, but in an event where some of them feel it is better outside, they can also go and try.
“We will work harder to make sure that we get more supporters so that at the end of the day, that equilibrium will be maintained.
“But I still believe that in Nigeria today, PDP is still the party to beat.
“As they are leaving the ruling party to the opposition, there are other key political actors who are ready to come to PDP.
“At the appropriate time, we will also receive them.’’
The President said that “the game of politics is dynamic and a governor elected by the people must not see himself as a king who can lord himself over the electorate.
“I was elected by Nigerians and I will not say because I am the President of Nigeria now, 100 per cent of Nigerians are for me and when I am moving to the left or right I will be moving with the whole 100 per cent.
“When you are moving you should know that you are an individual, not all your supporters will want to move with you.
“They are not your employees, therefore, some of your supporters might stay.’’
Jonathan hinted that “in some cases, the deputy governors in the states are saying they are not ready to move.
“It will be an interesting thing, and I have said that let us see how it will play out.
“However, in politics any party will want everybody in its camp and in PDP we want everybody.’’
The President clarified that not all the seven aggrieved governors have moved to the opposition party.
He said they have some grievances with the party and some of them said they were going to leave.
“But so far, two have openly declared that they are not leaving the party and we are talking to them.
“Out of the remaining five, two appears that they have actually moved to the other political parties, while some are still on the fence.
“I believe in a couples of weeks, it will not be too long. it will be very clear whether they are leaving or not.’’