President Goodluck Jonathan said on Tuesday that there is no feud between him and the Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, contrary to insinuations in some quarters.
The president also said the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to which both of them belong was proud of Mr. Lamido’s achievements, especially in the development of the infrastructure in the state.
There were speculations that Mr. Lamido was planning to run for president and would therefore oppose Mr. Jonathan’s bid for second term in office.
But speaking at an interactive forum in Dutse, the Jigawa state capital after commissioning the Dutse International Airport, the president praised the governor denied any friction with him and that there would never be one in the future.
“Sule Lamido is a man of his word,” Mr. Jonathan said. “In terms of what people say about frosty relationship, sometimes it is issues of interpretation.
“I remember reading one book sometimes ago where one philosopher said the disagreement between people is caused by when people use different words to describe different scenario or use different words to describe different thing.
“That will cause primary disagreement which will begin to expand. In some cases where people have problems if you go deeply you discover that it is not really a problem but it becomes a storm when people begin to hear.”
The president said Mr. Lamido played an important role in his election in the 2011 elections, noting “I assessed my governors then on how many scores I got during the primaries because if a governor means well for you, even if he is unable to control the total number of votes during the general elections, in the primaries which are party issues, which the governors have a control of about 70%, the governor controls what happens.”
Mr. Jonathan said until the delegate pattern was changed, the governors would continue to dictate what would happen.
According to him, going by the current delegate pattern for national elections, a state governor had control of about 70 percent.
He said, “I always tell our party that until we change our delegate pattern, the governors must dictate what happens. The present delegate we have for all national elections, any governor that is fit to be a governor have control of about 70% whether we like it or not.
“So if you don’t get up to 70% or 60% from a state, you know that that governor no matter what he says is not for you. In the general elections, the governor cannot control all the state. In the two options, Sule Lamido was totally committed. He is not somebody that talks from the two sides of his mouth. That is the good thing about Sule Lamido. He does not deceive himself or deceive you. I used to tell people I don’t have a problem with Sule Lamido.
“Even if there is a problem today, Sule Lamido is somebody I trust. He does not deceive. Let me reassure you that we have no problems; myself and Sule Lamido and definitely I will not have problems with the people of Jigawa state. All we have to do is to strengthen our relation more and more and work together.”
On the federal government projects in the state, the president said the government would continue to collaborate with the state government to improve on the development of infrastructure and other projects such as the Almajiri schools, the agricultural development and other sectors.
While commissioning the Dutse International Airport earlier, President Jonathan praised Gov. Lamido for building the facility and that it had added value to the state and Nigeria.
Describing an airport as an indispensable facility for business transaction, Mr. Jonathan said it would attract investments to Nigeria and generate jobs for the citizens.
Mr. Lamido, in his speech, said he was proud of the president’s transformation agenda, which he noted had made it possible for the governors in his party to render quality services to Nigerians.
He said he decided to work quietly for the transformation of the state rather than making noise.
“We are working silently for the interest of our people because we know what they need while those opposed to us are making noise. We will continue to stand by the people and try to meet their yearlings and aspirations,” he said.
The National Chairman of the PDP, Adamu Muazu, noted that it was only the governors of the party that had been providing dividends of democracy to their people by building seven airports since the advent of democracy in 1999.
He listed the states as Kebbi, Bauchi, Jigawa, Taraba, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Bayelsa.
Mr. Muazu said it was not a coincidence that only PDP states had built airports in Nigeria, but that it was a sign that they knew what was good for the people and Nigeria.
The Minister of Aviation, Chidoka Osita, said the federal government was committed to making all airports in Nigeria safe and beneficial to the users.