By Chioma Gabriel, Deputy Editor
Following President Jonathan’s victory at national convention of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, Nigerians from different walks of life have started to set targets for the 2011 general elections with many expressing hope that the defeated former Vice president, Atiku Abubakar would accept to work with President Jonathan in ensuring that PDP records victory in the coming general elections.
Former national Chairman of the party, Chief Barnabas Gemade and Professor Itse Sagay, amongst others gave kudos to a transparently conducted primaries and congratulated Atiku Abubakar for his show of good sportsmanship by accepting the results even as David West and ACF hold opposing views.
According to Gemade, “the party has conducted a wonderful convention which was well organised and without rancour. This is the beginning of the new shape of things to come. Our party has proved its commitment in promoting internal democracy in the party. The people of Nigeria have spoken and majority of the delegates have supported the incumbent and in politics, majority carries the day.”
Gemade in his comments also said there is nothing in the conduct of the primaries that would warrant anybody going to court because “ based on what I saw, a litigation on a basis of good reason and good judgement is out of the question”
The Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, commented on “what appeared to be a transparent national convention” in a statement through it national publicity secretary, Anthony Sanni but said it cannot speak on “whether the delegates had freedom to vote according to their conscience in such manner that the outcome would reflect the judgement of their constituencies. When all the facts are known from those in the sumo ring, the ACF will react more appropriately”
Senator Mohammed Abba Aji who has been on the Jonathan For President Campaign congratulated all Nigerians and all the PDP delegates to the convention.
“I particularly thank Atiku for accepting the result and we hope to work together with him during the elections proper to possess our possession and ensure PDP wins across the states in the forthcoming elections.”
A Professor of Law, Itse Sagay equally agreed the convention was well conducted.
“It was very transparent but what baffles me is that the Northern Consensus candidate failed woefully all over the zones even in his own zone and his home state Adamawa. This trend is a revelation of how this country will be run henceforth . It shows that power is now based on what you have to offer, your programme for the people and not on ethnicity nor where you come from or the belief that because you are from a particular place, it is your birthright to preside over the affairs of this nation. It is a proof we now have an egalitarian society”.
Nze Chidi Duru, formerly of the House of Representatives advised that the focus should now be on how both parties will reach out to each other to have a united front ahead of the 2011 general elections even as Farouk Lawan gave kudos to the Nigeria Police and security agencies for a peaceful conduct of primaries,as he expressed hope that the security agencies will perform the same feat whenever there is a major political event in any part of the country.
But in his opinion, Professor Tam David-West said the last has not yet been heard of the acclaimed transparent PDP presidential primaries.
“I’m not surprised because it is expected that Jonathan will win but it is not the end of the day yet. I will be surprised if Atiku doesn’t go to court. The way I see this, this matter could get to the supreme court and even if it doesn’t and Jonathan runs, he cannot win. It was difficult for Atiku to win the primaries because the governors were at the electoral college.
“If you ask me, Atiku has a case now because he can insist on the implementation of the zoning formula of PDP. He should go to court and press for zoning because before now, the court could not adjudicate on nomination of candidates but now Atiku is genuinely aggrieved and should go to court for PDP to implement its constitution. It is not the end of the day yet and I’m sure Atiku will win Jonathan in court”.