Embattled presidency rallies to defend Jonathan on integrity lapse

President Goodluck Jonathan
Former President Goodluck Jonathan's

For the second time in 48 hours, the presidency in Abuja again on Wednesday attempted to hedge off scathing criticism from internal party opposition that President Goodluck Jonathan is acquiring an integrity deficit by failing to keep faith to honour agreements he reached with political associates.

In a radio interview on Liberty FM Guest of the Week programme in Kaduna on Saturday, the governor of the state of Niger, Babangida Aliyu, led the charge, saying President Jonathan’s desire, and apparent silent moves for re-election amounts to bad faith since he entered into agreement with PDP governors three years ago “to run for only one term of four years.”

A day after Mr. Aliyu’s comments, the president, speaking through his Special Adviser on Political Matters, Ahmed Gulak, reacted angrily, saying he never entered such an agreement.

“The alleged agreement only exists in the figment of the imagination of somebody with presidential ambition,” Mr. Gulak responded, characterizing Mr. Aliyu’s comments as ‘frivolous allegation” and urged the governor, whose famous ambition to occupy Mr. Jonathan’s seat is an open book, to mind his ambition with caution.

Since Mr. Aliyu’s charge however, the issue has refused to die, and in another attempt to change the topic Tuesday, presidential spokesman, Doyin Okupe, claimed, “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. Okupe added “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.”

“For now” said Mr. Okupe, trying to triangulate on the issues in debate, “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.”

In the radio interview, Mr. Aliyu claimed that: 
“at the time he [President Jonathan] was going to declare for the 2011 election, all the PDP governors were brought together to ensure that we were all in the same frame of mind…[and that] at that discussion, it was agreed that Jonathan would serve only one term of four years and we all signed the agreement.”

Mr. Gulak flung harsh words back at Mr. Aliyu, insisting that President Jonathan “did not sign an agreement with anybody to the best of my knowledge.”

But PREMIUM TIMES can confirm authoritatively that Mr. Jonathan indeed assured the governors and party top guns he would run for only one term.

In December 2010, when President Jonathan’s ambition to run for the 2011 presidency was brewing to tear the party apart, party elders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), huddled at Wadata House, national headquarters of the party, and after a marathon 48-hour meeting, 20 state governors came out with a three-point communiqué, read by the Katsina governor, Ibrahim Shema, claiming to endorse the candidacy of President Goodluck Jonathan “for one term of four years.”

Addressing journalists on the night of December 16, 2010, the governors, speaking through Mr. Shema said, “having deliberated extensively on democratic practices the world over,” they came to three conclusions regarding Mr. Jonathan’s ambition:

“1. Democratic systems all over the world recognise the principle of incumbency and continuity.

2. Entrenched democratic culture persistent in presidential system and our constitution entitles our President to run for a second term which the PDP Governors support.

3. The Governors also recognise the Yar’Adua/Jonathan ticket and therefore support and endorse President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCFR) to contest the 2011 election as the PDP presidential candidate for a period of four years only.”

Before the meeting commenced, Mr Jonathan and his deputy, Namandi Sambo had met with the members of the national working committee of the party and the governors in Okwesiliese Nwodo’s office, the then party chairman.

The vice president, Namadi Sambo, and party chieftain, Tony Anenih led the negotiation on behalf of the president, while governors from 17 states and three deputy governors from Ogun, Oyo, and Imo states who stood in for their governors, brokered the deal.

But after endorsing and adopting Mr. Jonathan, the governor’s claimed that presidential primaries would still hold “to allow other aspirants to contest.”

After Mr. Jonathan was endorsed, former vice president, who challenged the president to the presidential ticket, Atiku Abubakar,  told a meeting of his supporters that political leaders risked making violent change inevitable the way they appeared to be making peaceful changes impossible.

The comments drew the sharp rebuke of President Jonathan and the State Security Services at the time.


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  • Mr idoko

    Premium Times,please stop this kind of nonsense write up and give good news you’re known for okay. Stop giving us trash. This is nonsense pls

  • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

    Again the integrity challenged Premium Times, has deliberately failed to tell its readers that a lot of northern leaders who attended the meeting has denounced Shema’s communique. I advise readers to read Tanko Yakassai’s interview with Vanguard on Febuary 18, 2013. Tanko Yakassai, by the way was a chieftain of the Northern Consensus team that opposed Jonathan in 2011. He is still opposed t Jonathan but he has the decency to say the truth.Premium Times are a bunch of liars and unreliable as a news medium for those interested in a balanced and fair journalism.

    • Emeka

      Mptikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa, Just a question. Where do you work and collect money to feed your family?-Do you work with Mrs. Jonathan? Do you work with President Jonathan at the presidency as one of the media aides? Or do you just work at Aso Rock? I just want to know. Thanks.

    • adams

      Mptikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa, I think your Chimamanda Adichie the tribalist was put to rest here. Are you waking a ghost.? If so, okay you mean the kind of SINGLE STORY Chimamanda Adichie gave in her poor defense of Achebe’s unfortunate narrative such that she has to shut up when FULL FACTS were thrown at her face.? You better do not start that nonsense again for Nigerians are still trying to get over such poor and unintellectual narratives from her.

      • simonibekwe

        Nobody could ever countermand Adichie’s responses to Prof. Achebe’s book because it contains unassailable facts and no amount of white washy from under-educated, mis-educated and barely illiterates could controvert it. May be people like you do not know Prof. Achebe, he is man in whose character there is no guile.He never lies. He is a courageous man who says his mind without fear or favour. On the issue of Mr. Jonathan and his court jesters, all i say to them is “beware the ides of march”(William Shakespeare) . Everything will be settled at the capitol in 2015 God willing.

    • McBabs

      Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa, am sure you ain’t always online, because if you do, you’ld have read Tanko Yakassai’s disclaimer of the purported Vanguard newspaper report of 2 or 3 days ago. If you’re online now and you actually are a truth seeker, google for it and am sure your story will never remain the same again

      • Yakubu

        Thank you for exposing the fallacy of Mpitikwelu’s assumptions.

      • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

        so an old man says the truth. Some thugs intimidate him to recant. And McBabs wants us to believe the second version.

    • Sam

      God save Nigeria from sycophant like you who have no other job than to sit a cafe and defend corrupt political office holders and crooks in power.

      • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

        And may God save Nigeria from people like who can never accept that other people can support another political party. You need to grow up. Which party in Nigeria do not have its own crooks? Some of us just sincerely believe that Jonathan remains a vast improvement compared to Buhari and Tinubu mob. YOU MUST RESPECT THAT.

  • Mamman Bako

    PDP is ‘Hammer House of Horror’! Poor GEJ, the snakes in the house now want him for breakfast. Well, he was one of them at some point.

    • Mpitikwelu_na_Ugwu_Awusa

      GEJ remains the only class in PDP.

  • Musa Paiko

    El rufai propaganda , if there is an agreement, try and stop Jonathan if you guys can, the man is still doing more than every previous government in his short tenure, he will win again come 2015

  • bitrus

    lets assume that President Jonathan promised to run for one term. now mr president says he wants to run for a second term. what is the problem with that? cant a man have a change of heart? for God’s sake, allow our president to exercise his constitutional rights. come 2015 let the electorates decide who they want, but we shall not allow the imposition of candidates as in previous elections. God bless and keep our president and endow him with wisdom, knowledge and understanding to govern this complex country called nigeria. God is faithful. He will see our president through. i leave you with a word of caution: all must know that the most high God rules in the affairs and kingdom of men and gives it to whomever He chooses. it has pleased God to saddle president Jonathan with the responsibilities of steering the ship called nigeria. we obviously do not know better than God. a word is enough for the wise. please leave our president alone to concentrate on his God given assignment. after 2015, God sparing our lives, and he decides he needs a second term, he has the right to contest and no one can stop him. QED

  • igbiki

    Still wondering why the 7-8 years single term balloon???

  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    President Jonathan has no trace of integrity and pride left in his character as he has shown not be be a man of his words and never kept none of the thousands promises he committed himself to with Nigerian people.
    Very defective and untrustworthy president Jonathan.President Jonathan is a symbol of lies and deception throughout his political career right from Bayelsa State as Otuoke Local Government Council deputy chairman.Nothing tangible president Jonathan can show as achievement in governance up to date except lies and lies.President Jonathan promised Nigerians regular power supply in 2011,where is the regular power supply now?
    Roads nationwide are death traps,healthcare is archaic while he often rushes his wife Dame Patience Jonathan to Germany for adequate medical attention while Nigerians die from lack of regular medical attention in our national teaching hospitals and our youths and graduate ready made president Jonathan employment provision is motorcycles-commercial riding Okada.