30th September, 2013
Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan on Sunday evening declared that he was not going to make any categorical statement about his perceived ambition for a second term in office.
The President, who made this position known during a media chat, said it was illegal for him or any governor to declare intention to re-contest for the seat as the country’s electoral law is explicit concerning the timetable for electoral activities in the country.
He said apart from this, declaring his ambition now would distract the government and country.
President Jonathan, who spoke on various issues about the country, further denied that he signed an agreement with some northern leaders and governors to the extent that he would serve only one term.
Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger state had once declared that the President had an agreement with some Nigerians to serve just one term. But Jonathan, during the media chat, urged anyone with the document he signed to make it public as proof he reached such an agreement with the people.
The President was however evasive on questions relating to the rights of former militant, Asari Dokubo, to make recent comments considered inciting as well as issues with the Ministry of Petroleum under Diezani Alison-Madueke.
Giving reason for the recent sack of nine members of his cabinet, the President accused a section of the country of playing politics with their comments on such issues he considers normal. According to him, where a minister is considered not to have met the goal with which the President set out to work, the best idea would be to send him away and be replaced with a person with better ideas.
He also said he did not sack the ministers to spite the seven governors who recently broke out from the Peoples Democratic Party to form a faction led by Kawu Baraje. He mentioned the Minister of Environment who was nominated by the Vice President, Namadi Sambo, as well as the nominee of Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state.
President Jonathan also denied that the country was bankrupt as he said those making such statements do no mean well for the country.
He said the speculation concerning the financial status of Nigeria began in June when the effect of oil thieves in the country led to a reduction in revenue coming from the sector.
He said as a result, the states were owed about N75 billion and that it was the inability of the government to meet the demand of the state Commissioners of Finance that this outstanding should be paid, was the reason they walked out of a meeting where they were to discuss the revenue and sharing and formula.
He also said his administration was doing everything to stem the continued rise in insecurity.
He promised to assist Pa Taiwo Akinkunmi, who designed the Nigerian flag but is now believed to be wallowing in abject poverty.