Youths in the northern states of Nigeria, Tuesday, vowed not to back President Goodluck Jonathan’s 2015 presidential bid if he did not take urgent steps to stabilise the nation and bring about visible transformation before the election.
Besides, the youths under the aegis of Arewa Youths Forum, AYF, said they did not believe that Jonathan was qualified to run in 2015, having taken the oath of office twice.
The National President of the AYF, Alhaji Gujungu Gambo, made the position of the group known while reacting to the claim by ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, that it was the right of the Niger Delta to retain the Presidency in 2015.
Tompolo had boasted at a festival in Warri, Delta State, that no individual or group could take the Presidency from the Niger Delta in 2015 as it was the right of President Jonathan to contest.
But the AYF in an exclusive interview with Vanguard, described Tompolo’s declaration as a mockery of democracy as, the former warlord did not take into account the strength of the voting population in the north.
Gujungu pointed out that while Tompolo and his groups in the Niger Delta were entitled to their opinions, they should not forget that the North was important in determining who becomes the President of Nigeria in any election.
While dismissing Tompolo’s boast as an empty threat aimed at entertaining uninformed Nigerians, the AYF leader asserted that President Jonathan had so far not done anything to merit re-election and that the north would not be in a hurry to vote for him in the next election.
Gujungu said, “I believe that 2015 is still far away and all this boast about Jonathan is unnecessary because he is yet to prove he can handle the critical task of running Nigeria effectively and giving a sense of hope and safety to all.
“To me, the first thing Tompolo and his allies should do is to ask Mr. President to take urgent steps to stabilise and develop the country before fixing his mind on returning to the Presidency in 2015.
“By always allowing militants or ex-militants to speak for him in the public, Jonathan is simply giving himself out as an Ijaw or a Niger Delta leader and not the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, a post Nigerians elected him to.
“As far as we in the north are concerned, such statements are borne out of ignorance and may actually be geared towards entertaining the uninformed and we do not care about their import because we are convinced that Jonathan is not qualified to contest in 2015.
“We say so with a firm belief and understanding of the position of the law that no Nigerian President can be sworn in thrice in his lifetime.
“Now, if Jonathan contests again and wins in 2015, he would have brazenly breached the constitution of the land and we are not going to encourage him to violate the laws of Nigeria,” the AYF leader stated.
According to him, the fate of Nigeria is beyond the Niger Delta and warlords to determine, adding that Nigerians who love the country should rather pray for peace and unity to reign in the land, especially during the Easter celebrations. Two weeks ago, the National Coordinator, Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, Otunba Gani Adams, had declared that nothing would stop President Goodluck Jonathan from seeking re-election for a second term in 2015.
Adams said, “There should be no controversy over this issue. The president is constitutionally allowed to seek re-election in 2015.
“The constitution allows him to serve for two terms; and he is just serving one term in office. Regardless of whatever anybody says the constitution is very clear on this issue. However, it is left for Jonathan to decide whether he wants a second term, or not.”.