The Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Rufai Alkali, has said the presidency has not endorsed any plan to embark on risk assessment of aspirants contesting on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
He said it was not the responsibility of any group to assess or screen PDP aspirants because the task was exclusively that of the national secretariat of the party.
Media reports at the weekend indicated that some of President Goodluck Jonathan’s support groups were planning to carry out assessment of aspirants contesting elections on the platform of the ruling party ahead of its primaries.
“While the Special Adviser recognizes the patriotic zeal of all the Support Groups and their activities in favour of the re-election of President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 Presidential Election, the office wishes to warn all groups to desist from using the Office of the Special Adviser to the President, Political Affairs to carry out programmes or activities without due authorization or permission from the office,” Mr. Alkali said in a statement on Monday.
“For the avoidance of doubt, I wish to make it abundantly clear that the function of determining the suitability of candidates for elections belongs exclusively to the national leadership of PDP and not to any other group. My office is aware that the party has put in place screening committees for all offices and they should be left to perform their functions.”
The presidential aide, who is a former spokesperson of the ruling party, asked the groups to adhere strictly to Mr. Jonathan’s policies and principles in the conduct of their activities.
He also advised all the groups rooting for his re-election to always refer to his office, which coordinates the Goodluck Support Group, before embarking on any project or programmes that have serious policy implication in the party or government.
Mr. Alkali thanked the groups for “protecting our democracy and supporting our President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR in his Transformation Agenda”.
“We believe that President Jonathan is the only candidate in the forthcoming Presidential Election that can sustain the momentum of the current Transformation Agenda.”
The presidential aide also advised all PDP aspirants to distance themselves from any group that approaches them for screening outside the panel set up by the national leadership of the PDP.