President Goodluck Jonathan has said he will not speak on whether he had a pact with governors of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to rule for only four years.
The President’s position was clarified in a statement in Abuja today by his Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe. The controversy was kicked off last Sunday by the Governor of Niger State, Dr. Babangia Aliyu.
“We wish to state categorically that this is neither the time nor the season to begin electioneering campaign or related discourse for the 2015 presidential elections and so President Goodluck Jonathan will not jump the gun,” Okupe said.
The governor had said that the President must honour a one-term agreement he made with the governors, and thus vacate office in 2015.
Okupe avoided commenting on whether such an agreement existed. Instead, he listed five programme areas he said constituted the focus of his principal.
“President Goodluck Jonathan will not for any reason abandon these laudable goals to engage in a distractive political debate with any individual or group of persons,” he said.
The full statement by Mr. Okupe:
PRESIDENT JONATHAN WILL NOT BE DISTRACTED FROM THE MISSION TO FIX NIGERIA
Our attention has been drawn to issues raised by some political leaders to the effect that President Goodluck Jonathan signed an agreement with some Governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party prior to the Party’s presidential primaries in 2011.
From time immemorial, for every major event or contest in the world, there is always a time and a season apportioned.
We wish to state categorically that this is neither the time nor the season to begin electioneering campaign or related discourse for the 2015 presidential elections and so President Goodluck Jonathan will not jump the gun.
Mr. President will therefore stoutly resist any disguised or open attempt to drag him into any debates, arguments or political discussions relating to a presidential election in 2015.
The president considers this as an invidious attempt to sway him from his chosen pursuit of the set out constituents of the transformation agenda which form the basis upon which Nigerians overwhelmingly elected him to steer the ship of the Nation in 2011.
For the purpose of emphasis,The present focus of President Jonathan include:
1 Completion of ongoing projects in the power sector to ensure that Nigerians enjoy steady power supply for domestic and industrial purposes.
2 Ensuring remarkable Improvement of infrastructure in Road,rail and air transportation in every part of Nigeria through speedy completion of major ongoing road projects, construction and rehabilitation of rail lines as well as rehabilitation and modernization of our airports.
3 Working towards providing Nigerian children and youths with good and functional education at all levels.
4 Ensuring that Nigerians have greater access to improved and affordable health care facilities
4 Transform our Nations agricultural sector to guarantee food sufficiency, create wealth for Nigerians and become a net exporter of food and agro based raw materials within a very short time
5 Create new jobs for our youths through a systematic implementation of sound economic and fiscal policies and entrepreneurial development programmes.
6 Reform our oil and gas sector to increase efficiency, guarantee value for money and ensure greater local content participation in the industry.
President Goodluck Jonathan will not for any reason abandon these laudable goals to engage in a distractive political debate with any individual or group of persons.
However, we will not hold it against anyone who wishes to pursue such agenda because Nigeria is a free country and will continue to be so under this president.
For now, this is our position on this matter and we assure Nigerians of Mr. Presidents resolve to continue to devote his energy to a successful implementation of the transformation agenda, fix Nigeria and thereby justify the mandate freely given to him by the Nigerian people.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs