By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor, Clifford Ndujihe & Kingsley Omonobi
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is to use today’s expected declaration by President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term to project his delivery on key strategic promises made ahead of the 2011 elections, campaign officials have disclosed.
A document formulated by a strategy team at the national party headquarters has projected that the president would be the candidate to beat if key achievements of the administration are brought into focus.
Meanwhile a host of interest groups including party stakeholders and youth groups have flooded the federal capital for the ceremony. In anticipation of the mass influx into the federal capital, the police has mapped out alternative routes for motorists and other road users.
The achievements of the Jonathan administration expected to be tabled at today’s declaration will comprise key indicators in economic growth, transport, agriculture and energy inside sources have disclosed.
Security which was not a major issue ahead of the 2011 campaign is not expected to be used as a template by the party strategists in the presentation. The administration has been hard pressed in tackling the insurgency fuelled by the Islamist Boko Haram group.
The document read in part: “Apart from being an incumbent who would not have to learn on the job, the President has delivered on set targets and he is stabilizing the polity.
“He has given hope to Nigerians by his performance and his support of democratic structures. His support base is not regional or ethnic base, he is delivering on the objectives of the party and none of his opponents can claim to have widespread support base close to his own. You do not change a horse in the middle of a race.”
A party source said: “We will be thumping up the president’s achievements in the last four years and we will ask our opponents to dispute them. A lot of documents have been put together to communicate to Nigerians including the one by the One Nigeria Coalition. We are going to be stating clearly what Jonathan has done to lift the country.
“If we take just three areas, Agriculture, Transport and Energy, Nigerians will agree that no one can dispute our achievements. Are you going to say agric is not better under this government? We are importing less food and we are feeding our people. Transportation is also better whether it is rail, air or road. In energy sector, the President is working assiduously to end the era of darkness.
Support groups invade Abuja, JYV unveils new campaign office
Apart from the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN), notable groups that are in Abuja and expected at the Eagle Square today for the ceremony include the Jonathan Youth Vanguard (JYV), which will open its new campaign office in Abuja, today and the National Coalition for Jonathan and Sambo Presidency (NACOJSP).
JYV Director General of the group, Mr. Ebis Orubebe, in a statement yesterday, said the office, which has a media centre, conference room and other facilities and centrally located at Garki Mall will officially be launched on a day President Jonathan will declare his re-election bid.
Orubebe, who said the job of the group “is to mobilise youth and women support for Mr. President’s transformation agenda,” said after unveiling the office, members and supporters drawn from all parts of the country will proceed on a procession to Eagles Square, President Jonathan’s presidential declaration.
Also, the NACOJSP National Secretary, Dr. Benjamin Onoriode Irikefe, said the president’s second term bid will be a coronation.
Irikefe who said the second term bid would be a good omen for Nigeria said: “The truth is that the 2015 presidential election would be a mere coronation ceremony for President Jonathan. When you say coronation ceremony, it means the king makers, in this case, Nigerians, have already decided and they are saying this is the man we have chosen. Nigerians are going to vote in February 2015 to ratify the re-election of President Jonathan as Nigerian leader for another four years. Nigerians have decided to return him for another four years. The 2015 election is a self-fulfilling prophecy and in fact, it is going to turn out to be a coronation ceremony for President Jonathan.’’
Meanwhile, the Police in Abuja have said there will be diversion of traffic around the Abuja Metropolis which it was gathered was for security purposes.
A statement signed by CP Emmanuel Ojukwu, FPRO said, “This is to alert the public of a major event taking place at Eagle Square Abuja tomorrow Tuesday, 11th November, 2014.
“Members of the public are advised to use alternative routes, as vehicular traffic will be diverted from most of the roads leading in and out of Eagle Square Central Business District, Abuja between 0500am and 0800pm of Tuesday, 11th November, 2014.
“The Nigeria Police Force regrets any inconvenience the diversion of vehicular movements within the area may cause members of the public, as this is one of the proactive security measures put in place to avoid break down of law and order in the area and Abuja at large.