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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

’2015: Only Supreme Court can determine Jonathan’s eligibility


By HENRY UMORU
ABUJA—AHEAD of 2015 presidential election, Adamawa stakeholders in Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said Wednesday, that only the Supreme Court can determine whether or not President Goodluck has the right to run for the presidential election.
According to the PDP stakeholders, if President Jonathan contests for another term of four years in 2015 and gets the position, he will have then succeeded himself in office as President for a cumulative period of nine years 23 days, against the constitutional provision of eight years.
The PDP stakeholders, who warned that PDP must be careful not to play into the hands of the opposition, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Peoples Democratic Movement, PDM and others, stressed that those currently pushing for Jonathan’s Presidency come 2015 on the basis of ethnicity or religion as a yardstick for their support for him, were not doing him or the polity any good.
In a statement signed by former governorship aspirant, Dr. Umar Ardo, the stakeholders said: “It has the tendency of alienating other ethnic and religious groups against the President. How then does that help the cause of the PDP and the President, seeing that the alienated groups are by far in the majority?
President Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan
“The President needs the majority, and not the minority, to win his elections. With all due apologies to the Governors Forum, let it be always remembered that elections are won with higher votes, and not with lower votes.
“But I want to emphasize one most important thing here though, ultimately only the Supreme Court can determine whether or not President Jonathan can even contest the 2015 presidential elections.
“As I said some time ago, if the President contests for another term of four years in 2015, he would have self-succeeded himself in office as President for a cumulative period of nine years 23 days. This is beyond the eight years maximum period prescribed by the constitution and vicariously interpreted by the Supreme Court.
“Most people may not see it, but this issue is a very serious constitutional barricade standing against the candidacy of the President in 2015. Neither the President’s supporters nor his opponents, nor even the President himself can determine this matter. ‘
’Only the Supreme Court can do so; certainly not even the pronouncement of a High Court can suffice. To take it as given that the president can contest in 2015 is a grave error of judgment. I am making this press release against the backdrop of the current agitations for and against President Jonathan’s candidacy in 2015 that have lately been tearing, especially the peoples of the core North and the Middle Belt, apart.”
Vanguard

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