BY OKEY NDIRIBE
ABUJA—Former governor of Anambra State Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has declared that Nigeria may break up if President Goodluck Jonathan was disallowed from running for a second term in office.
Ezeife, who stated this in an interview with Vanguard in Abuja, said: “At this juncture in Nigerian history, President Jonathan’s interest in a second term and Nigerians’ interest in the continued existence of the country have become coterminous.”
He also insisted that those opposed to President Jonathan’s convening of a national conference were also opposed to Nigeria’s continued existence as a united country.
He said: “If you say because you oppose President Jonathan’s bid for a second term in office, you are also opposed to a National Dialogue, you are saying no to one Nigeria.
“ The truth of the matter is that opposing President Jonathan’s second term is like opposing the continued existence of Nigeria as one united country.
“What do you think would happen if as a result of the handiwork of the opposition, President Jonathan is disallowed from running for a second term in office? Can you control what would happen?
“ Whether you are from the North, South or West, you can’t stop President Jonathan from going for a second term and winning.
“Everybody can make noise but if those who are making noise should think deeply, they would realize that the continued existence of Nigeria as one country is anchored on Jonathan’s continuation in office come 2015.”
On what would happen if President Jonathan contested the election and lost, he said: “We would be faced with the same problem. The Niger Delta boys would blow up all the oil pipelines and then a part of the country could say they are no longer interested in Nigeria; they could say Nigeria legally expired when the nation marked its centenary and that they are now on their own.
“This is not what I want, but I am afraid it could happen if we foolishly think of only our short term interest, instead of thinking of long term implications.
“However, if Jonathan contests and loses in a free and fair election where Nigerians truly vote against him, it would be less bloody than if he is not allowed to contest at all.”