The Presidency yesterday expressed optimism that should President Goodluck Jonathan decide to run for a second term in 2015, no individual or group can stop him from exercising his constitutional right.
Specifically, it is of the view that former President Olusegun Obasanjo has no choice than to support President Jonathan for a second term in office, saying he was a beneficiary of a similar development, just as Nigerians have not conferred on him the authority to choose leaders for them.
Speaking exclusively to Sunday Sun on Saturday in Abuja, Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Barrister Ahmed Ali Gulak, said the constitutional right of President Jonathan to contest the 2015 presidential election is non-negotiable, even as he expressed confidence that in the event the president decides to run, he would perform better in the North than recorded in 2011.
Besides, the presidential aide described the much talked about clamour by northern governors as a mere talk they cannot translate to reality, saying most of them are doing so for selfish reasons. Gulak’s position is coming a week after the controversial posting of the president’s campaign posters for 2015, a development the Presidency described as ‘antics of the opposition’, even as President Jonathan repeatedly reminded Nigerians that he thinks less of the 2015 presidential race, saying he would only decide in 2014 whether to run for a second term or not.
Speaking on Obasanjo, Gulak said, “Nobody is God, nobody should play God, no one is indispensable. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, no doubt, is a well-respected leader who has played his part in developing the nation; he is a well-respected man who is like a father. But the truth is that just as people say he is a benefactor of the president, others have been his benefactors, too.
You know you come you go. When your time comes and goes, so be it; only he cannot pick a leader for this nation because Nigerians have not conferred on him the right to pick their leaders for them. This is more so when Nigerians are right-thinking people whose “brains work”. “So, when people continue to express certain views as if the president and the former leader are at war to the extent that such can affect his chances of returning for a second term should he decide, it baffles me.
There is no war at all, and in fact, there are many individuals who can play roles, not a single person making it work. There is no doubt the former president has influence, but it is limited to a certain level. The truth is that as a member of the PDP, as a former president under the party, as a former chairman of the party’s BoT, and as a member of the same body, former President Olusegun Obasanjo will eventually have no choice than to support a second term should Mr. President decide to run both before the primary and after the primary.” Northern Govs can’t stop Jonathan “Most of the governors making statements are serving out their second terms, and what do you expect?
Most of them are aspiring to be president and they cannot stop Jonathan if he decides to contest. How many governors stood for election and failed? They can challenge, yes, but cannot defeat him. Everybody has the right to contest. They can challenge President Goodluck Jonathan, but defeating him? I would say no. None of the governors has the potency to defeat President Jonathan, both within and outside the party, if he decides to contest.”