The Oodua People Congress(OPC) has added its voice to the race for the 2015 presidential election saying President Goodluck Jonathan has the constitutional rights to contest.
The National Coordinator of the Congress, Gani Adams, made this known to journalists in an interview shortly after his condolence visit to the Awolowo family in Ikenne Town of Ogun State over the death of Oluwole Awolowo.
He argued that it was wrong for anybody or group to regard his (Jonathan) tenure as Acting President after the demise of late President Umaru Yar’Adua as the incumbent’s first term in office.
Mr. Adams said that the only time Mr. Jonathan contested for the Presidency was in 2011 and he won the election for that term.
“He (Mr. Jonathan) still has the right and if Nigerians still want him to be their leader in 2015, he has the right to contest as the president in 2015,” Mr. Adams declared.
On the alleged marginalisation of the Yoruba race by the Jonathan administration, the OPC leader said Yorubas have already said a lot about it and it is very clear for anybody to see.
“In the history of governance in this country, we have never been marginalised like what we are experiencing from 2011 till now. If you look at the protocol and the portfolio in the country today, you will see that the Yoruba race has been relegated.
We lost the Speakership position, we lost the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, we lost the Chief Whip of the House and at the end of the day, we were also denied of the opportunity of being the Chief Justice or the Attorney General and even most of the juicy Ministerial positions was not also allotted to the Yoruba people. So, it’s so sad,” Mr. Adams emphasised.
“If we should go back memory lane and recall how Mr. President attained that position, you’ll discover that agitation to swear him in as Acting President consequent upon the sickness of former President Yar’Adua, when it became too obvious that he couldn’t continue again, came from the West,” he added.
“Even before the Niger Delta people started their clamour, it was people like me and other progressives that began it, calling that the power that be must swear him in as Acting President. Even at the last April 2011 general election, the Yoruba people voted for President Goodluck Jonathan without minding the political party that was on ground then.
Even the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) voted for him against Mallam Nuhu Ribadu. That showed how progressive the Yoruba people are and voting the person they want.
“So, I believe Mr. President has to flash back on what happened and address the injustice done to the race. A particular governorship candidate even lost his ward to President Jonathan and till date, there is nothing to show for that or for the President to justify that we do not deserve to be within the first position to the 6th in the hierarchy of position in Nigeria,” Mr. Adams declared.
Speaking on late Oluwole Awolowo, the OPC chieftain said, “It is rather unfortunate that we lost him at this time because of mama (HID Awolowo). My concern is for her age; for losing a son at this time. Yoruba leaders must come close to her so that she can have a long life till her time comes.
“Uncle Oluwole was a nice man, very reserved person. He was a person that believed in God, an Evangelist and one of the proud sons of Oduduwa land.”
Mr. Adams also expressed the congress’ gratitude to the president for honouring the Awolowo family.