PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been advised that though he is eligible to contest 2015 election, he should not, in order to concentrate on his effort to transform the country.
The Patriots, led by Professor Ben Nwabueze, while fielding questions after their visit to President Jonathan, in Abuja, on Thursday, said “the president is eligible. Nobody is questioning his eligibility. The president is eligible. What makes him ineligible? Nothing. He is eligible, if he decides. That is a personal decision for him to take.”
However, he insisted that Jonathan should abandon his second term ambition in order to successfully transform the country.
If Jonathan does that, he would become an instant hero to this country, but it is for him to chose. If I were him, I would choose to become a hero to lead the country into transformation and abandon the ambition of a second term. That is what I said and I still stand by it and that is what I would do if I were the president of the country, but I’m not,” he said.
Earlier, President Jonathan had said his administration was not opposed to moves by Nigerians to meet and discuss how they will continue to live together in peace and unity.
He made the declaration after receiving a memorandum from The Patriots, led by Professor Nwabueze, on the need for a national conference, which should lead to the production of a people’s constitution for the country.
While noting that ordinarily, the issue of Nigerians coming together to discuss their future should not be out of place, he stressed that there had been constant discussion within government on how to create an acceptable and workable platform for a national dialogue that would reinforce the ties that bound the many ethnic nationalities in the country.
“The limitation we have is that the constitution appears to have given that responsibility to the National Assembly. I have also been discussing the matter with the leadership of the National Assembly. We want a situation where everyone will key into the process and agree on the way forward,” Jonathan said.
He added that as a government, his administration was totally committed to transforming the country, noting that “positive things are being done and, by the grace of God, we will get to where we ought to be as a nation.”
Jonathan welcomed the forum’s call for the moral re-orientation of Nigerians, saying he shared their belief that ongoing efforts at national transformation and development would be greatly enhanced and facilitated by the cultivation of better national ethics and attitudes.
The Patriots had observed in the memorandum presented to the president that Nigeria “is a wobbly state in part, because it stands on a very weak foundation, which creates a necessity to transform it.”
Other members of the delegation were Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Solomon Asemota, Chris Okoye, Chief (Mrs) Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (retd), Professor Kimse Okoko and Mr Michael Orobator.