Thursday, August 22, 2013

Opposition will be more confused in 2015 – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan  has said that members of the All Progressives Congress and other opposition parties will be “more confused” in 2015 as they prepare to wrest  power from the  Peoples Democratic Party.
Jonathan,  at the 62nd National Executive Committee meeting  of the PDP  in Abuja on Thursday, said  any party or group that believed that the PDP would be rocked by crises during the 2015 elections would be “terribly  disappointed.”
But the APC, through its   Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji  Lai Mohammed,   said the President would wake up one day and realise that in politics, “there is a limit to good luck. “

Jonathan had  told  the NEC  members,  who  resolved to shelve Saturday’s  South-West congress of the party  that  the early commencement of political activities  was not unconnected with   opposition’s worry  over the “intimidating credentials” of the PDP.
The President also attributed the formation of new political parties to  the  quest by some desperate politicians  to defeat the PDP  in   2015. According to him, those  behind the new  parties  are “confused and would continue to be confused.”
He said that the turnout at the NEC  meeting was a clear reflection of the fact that  the PDP was intact.
Jonathan  said, “I was not expecting to see so many people especially our senior party members but when I came in and  saw  their  faces,  I thanked  God  because   those  who  believe that the PDP is  divided, will all be disappointed.
“The chairman said it all; we thought that political activities will not start so early in the country, but because of the intimidating credentials of the PDP, people  have started meeting.
“Parties have  started coming together, and new ones are being  formed. These are  blessings to  all of us because those  people behind them are confused about how  they will  manage the PDP. They  will continue to be confused especially in 2015.
“And those who continue to think that the PDP cannot come together; that the PDP cannot manage success will be terribly disappointed.
“We will go to  the Eagle Square (in Abuja) and take the right decision for our party.”
He said that his administration would continue to pursue its  developmental agenda   in line with the PDP manifesto in such a way that by early next year, even those in doubt  would have nothing to say.
The President said his government  would be able to achieve the feat with the expected cooperation  of the PDP.
“A number of things that Nigeria almost forgot like railways  are being  brought back. And I believe that by the time we move into (early) next year, things will become very obvious so that  those who doubt us will not have anything to say. We promise that we are going to do that with the assistance of the party,” Jonathan added.
He  admitted that while it was natural to have disagreement in a political party, the important thing was the ability of those involved  to resolve  their differences  and then forge ahead.
After the meeting, the Acting National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr. Tony Okeke,  read a communiqué  in which he announced the   suspension of the South-West congress of the party.
He cited a court  order   as the reason  for the decision by the NEC. Okeke said that  PDP was committed to the rule of law and upholding the sanctity of the courts.
“INEC unanimously approved and ratified 31 August 2013 as the date for the Special National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). NEC commended the Special Congresses and Convention Planning Committee for the efforts so far put in place in the preparation for the Convention.
“NEC acknowledged the service of a court order  restraining the conduct of the South- West Zonal Congress earlier scheduled for Saturday, August 24,  2013. In line with our avowed disposition to upholding  the rule of Law and in deference to the court’s ruling, NEC unanimously approved the postponement of the South-West congress.
“Consequently, NEC directed the National Working Committee  to follow through the court process and when concluded, set a new date for the congress.”
The meeting  had  Vice- President Namadi Sambo;  the Deputy Senate President, Mr. Ike  Ekweremadu;  the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal;  the Chairman of the PDP  Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih; 18 state governors, past chairmen, national secretaries and other party leaders in attendance.
Earlier, the PDP National  Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur, had  dismissed  rumours of  his imminent removal   as a creation of the media .
Tukur commended the National Reconciliation Committee of the PDP for  the job it had so far done and  appealed to all aggrieved members to “sheathe their swords and enthrone enduring peace” in the party.
Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State told State House correspondents that the cordial atmosphere in which the meeting  was conducted was a sign that members  were now happy with one another.
He spoke  after he and his Gombe State counterpart, Ibrahim Dankwambo, met behind closed-doors with Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
“The  PDP NEC  meeting  shows that the family is together and that everybody is working  together. It is a sign of good things to come. We are now happy with one another. The family is together and if there was a problem, we would have stayed longer to solve it,’’ Yuguda added.
Our correspondents learnt that the NEC did not discuss the issue of automatic tickets for Jonathan and first term governors in order not to create further crisis in the party.
 A member of the party’s NEC confided in our correspondent that the PDP leadership believed that discussing the issue would deepen the crisis rocking the party.
 Our  source said a majority of the NEC members  felt that it was unwise to throw such a matter in the open on a day several of the governors who had been refusing to attend the party’s meetings were back in its  fold.
  According to him,  it is the general belief in the PDP that there  was enough time to handle the issue of  automatic tickets.
 He said, “Sincerely, I can tell you that this issue of automatic tickets was not mentioned at the meeting; the two issues were the ratification of the  August 31 date for the special national convention, and the suspension of the zonal  ongress  for the South-West.
“You know that an issue as sensitive as automatic ticket can not be discussed in that open place; it will deepen the  crisis in the party. How can you be reconciling and be putting that on your agenda?
 “The party believes that there is time; such thing is better handled in a strategic way.”
Reacting to the President on what awaited the opposition,   the APC Interim spokesperson advised him to devote his energies to resolving the crisis in  the PDP  instead of wishing   other political parties  ill-luck.
“Clearly, President  Jonathan is still relying on luck to defeat the opposition APC in 2015 and that is why he says we will be confused and disappointed. On the contrary, the President  will wake up one day to realise that in this business, there is a limit to good luck. Not only has his luck  run  out on President Goodluck Jonathan, he has exhausted his good will  with Nigerians,” Mohammed said in  an SMS to   one of our correspondents.
 According to him, the APC would rather engage the President in meaningful issues of national development. He added that the opposition party would continue to strategise on how to get Jonathan out of power in 2015.
“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. The President should focus his energies to the crisis in his party instead of wishing opposition parties ill-luck. We are strategising to ensure that Nigerians vote for us in 2015; so we prefer to engage him on meaningful issues.”

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