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PDP, AC Chiefs Differ On Alleged Jonathan’s Presidential Bid


A LEADER of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Lawal Kaita yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan not to vie for the presidency in 2011 in the interest of peace and tranquility in the country. But the Action Congress (AC) chairman in Plateau State, Chief Amos Gizo has said that Jonathan is free to contest if he feels that Nigerians are satisfied with his performance.

Kaita who was governor of the old Kaduna State based his position on the PDP’s rotation of power principle between the north and the south.

Fielding questions from reporters after paying a condolence visit to the family home of the late president, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, he warned that the north would do all within its power to stop Jonathan from occupying the presidential seat beyond 2011.

Wishing Jonathan the best of luck between now and 2011 when the seat of the presidency would be vacant, he noted: ” He must not dare contest because he would suffer defeat at the poll. The seat of the presidency is a northern slot and unless Jonathan resigns from the PDP; or unless there is a convention and the PDP reverses the rotation of power formula, there is nothing he can do about the situation.”

Reminded that former President Olusegun Obasanjo had just flatly denied the existence of an arrangement like the rotation of power principle in the PDP, he retorted: “He is lying. He is telling lies. When the formula was initiated, he wasn’t in the PDP; he was in prison. But he knew about it. If there was no formula, how could he be the president? He is up to mischief; this is pure mischief. The north would resist it totally.”

On the challenge before Jonathan on whom to pick as the vice president, he said such person must be a Moslem from any part of the northern part of the country.

A former Governor of Kaduna State, Air Vice Marshall Muktar Mohammed (rtd) who was among dignitaries who paid condolence visit to the Yar’Adua’s family urged Jonathan to: “Make sure there is peace and stability in the country and address the issue of insecurity of lives and property and all the other issues for the socio -political stability of the country.”

On the choice of a vice president, he said: “I believe the president has been deputy governor, a governor, a vice president, an acting president and is now the president. I think along the way he has gathered sufficient experience to know which areas he needs assistance and which person suits that position. Ruling Nigeria is not an easy task. I think they should look for quality.”

In an interview, with The Guardian, Gizo said what Nigerians needed was a leader that would be respected within and outside the shores of the country and whose performance would be seen.

“You know, I am not in the PDP and he is not contesting under my party. If he contests an election in the PDP and I have a candidate for my party, we will still fight him. But I have told you earlier that we are looking for a good person. If he continues what he is dong now, there are many people even in our party if you present a bad candidate that they will go and vote for Jonathan probably including myself.

“He has taken over power and you know very well that power (electricity) has been a major problem in industrialisation. If you don’t have power, you use a generator. If you are spending N10,000 on power a month, you are going to spend about N300,000 on a generator to get the same thing. It increases the cost of production and small industries cannot survive.

“So, if he thinks within the short period he claims he is going to corrects the anomaly and he corrects it, so be it. And what he has done now to former INEC boss, Prof Maurice Iwu, we believe that he is listening to the people. It is a total cry of the generality of Nigerians that Iwu had performed woefully. Merely hearing that Iwu had been removed, I slept well, but that is not the end of the whole thing,” he said.

Gizo said that if Jonathan had interest in contesting, he would also bring in somebody who would work for him as his running mate.

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