Ben Agande, Abuja.
The presidency Tuesday reiterated that President Goodluck Jonathan has neither taken a decision or whether or not he will contest in the 2015 elelction, nor has he authorized any person or group to work for him for the 2015 election.
Reacting to a newspaper report (not Vanguard) that a 21-member Committee has been empanelled for Jonathan’s Second Term Bid, the special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati said the impression created in the report that the committee has the president’s blessing was false.
He also stated that the president has not endorsed any person as the governorship candidate of any state or for any any position for that matter and urged those making such claim to desist forthwith.
Dr Abati noted that in spite of clear and unambiguous pronouncements by President Goodluck Jonathan that he remains fully focused on the implementation of his Administration’s agenda for national transformation and not the politics of future elections, “some individuals, groups, organisations and sections of the media have continued to foster the myth of a President and Administration solely concerned with jostling and self-positioning for the 2015 elections.
“This is totally untrue and without any basis in reality. As he has truthfully declared on several occasions, President Jonathan has not yet taken a decision on whether or not he will seek re-election in 2015 and has therefore not mandated any individual, committee or organisation to start working on his behalf for the 2015 elections” he said.
Dr Abati reiterated that President Jonathan wish to be left alone to focus on delivering on his promise of good governance and national transformation without unnecessary distractions should be respected.
“Political jobbers and their collaborators in the media should stop heating up the polity with baseless speculations and falsehoods revolving around imaginary plans and schemes by the Presidency for the 2015 elections” he said.
Speaking on the claim of presidential endorsement by some politicians, the presidential Spokesperson warned those claiming to have been endorsed by the president to desist from such acts forthwith.
“The Presidency has also observed what seems to be an emerging trend whereby persons with their eyes fixated on political opportunities in future elections are beginning to use President Goodluck Jonathan’s name to promote themselves and their vaulting ambitions.
“It was clearly in this regard that some unscrupulous persons began to print 2015 campaign posters with President Jonathan’s photograph whereas the Independent National Electoral Commission is yet to announce the commencement of campaigns and political parties are yet to conduct any primaries for the selection of candidates.
“Perhaps the most audacious illustration of this trend and resort to mischief and opportunism is represented by an advertorial which appeared at page 14 of the Saturday Vanguard of April 13, 2013 signed by one OBITEX Industrial and Investment Company Limited. The colour advert shows President Jonathan purportedly raising the hand of Nze Akachukwu Nwankpo, under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) with the unmistakable suggestion that the President has endorsed Nze Nwankpo as the PDP Gubernatorial candidate for Anambra state. The advertiser claims as follows: “As Mr. President, His Excellency Dr. Ebele Goodluck Jonathan has symbolically raise (sic) up your hands, so you have been chosen by the God Almighty to be the Governor of Anambra State come 2014.”
“It is instructive that the so-called raising of hand is represented through an artist’s sketch, and not a photograph with verifiable, empirical value.
“For the benefit of the unwary, the Presidency emphatically states that President Jonathan has not endorsed any candidate for any position whatsoever ahead of the 2015 general elections neither has he commissioned persons to start campaigns for his own candidature.
“As a leader who respects the rule of law, President Jonathan respects the fact that there are laid down procedures, defined by INEC and the political parties, for the selection of candidates for any election. As a law abiding citizen, President Jonathan will not engage in any act, symbolic or direct, that runs counter to laid-down procedures. As a loyal party man, he will equally not do anything that will amount to the usurpation of the party’s structures and powers to conduct primaries and choose candidates for elections.
“We therefore disown the claims and allegations of Presidential endorsements or the commencement of 2015 campaigns. The general public and affected stakeholders are advised to be wary of the kind of opportunism, misrepresentation and mischief that usually arise ahead of elections in general.
“The Presidency seizes this opportunity to warn all 2015 political office seekers, and their sponsors, friends or collaborators, to desist from unconscionable exploitation of President Jonathan’s name in the service of jaded antics of self-aggrandisement, promotion and positioning” the statement added.