President Goodluck Jonathan has begged to be left alone to focus on delivering on his political promises to Nigerians,instead of being drawn into alleged 2015 moves.
In a statement today, his spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, refuted a newspaper report that a 21-member committee has been set up towards Jonathan’s 2015 campaign, saying that Mr. 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.
“President Jonathan’s stated wish to be left alone to focus on delivering on his promise of good governance and national transformation without unnecessary distractions should be respected,” the statement said.
“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.”
It will be recalled that at the presentation of the “PDP Women-In-Power 2013 Calendar” in Abuja on February 21, the PDP National Women’s Leader and member of the National Working Committee (NWC), Mrs. Kema Chikwe, openly said that Mr. Jonathan would return as President in 2015.
“We are even more confident that when President Goodluck Jonathan returns in 2015, women would be talking about 50 per cent and not 35 per cent,” she said. “As we give him unequivocal, undiluted, unresolved and unlimited support and as we march with him to 2015, PDP women will reach the promised land,” she said.
Mr. Jonathan did not contradict that statement, and Abati did not issue a bloated refutal.
Today’s statement by the Jonathan spokesman is the first time Mr. Jonathan has referred to his electoral promises, which ran in the hundreds, since he was elected. Political observers believe that his failure to address those promises poses the biggest obstacle to any dreams Jonathan has about being reelected, even if he were to run.
“Ambition don begin jam reality,” commented an analyst when contacted by SaharaReporters, “I mean, reality don begin jam ambition!”
Full text of the press statement by ReubenAbati:
“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, the Presidency has noted with concern that 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.
“On Monday, April 15, 2013, ThisDay newspaper published a front page news story titled “21-member C’ttee Empanelled for Jonathan’s Second Term Bid” wherein it was stated, inter alia, that “the president’s aides and associates have set up a 21-member committee to advise (President) Jonathan on the viability of his entry into the presidential contest in 2015”. The impression is further created that a group known as “We, the people” has its roots in the Presidency and that the 2015 campaign has now become the main preoccupation of the Presidency.
“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.
“President Jonathan’s stated 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.
“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 hand, 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.