The presidency said it is not worried by the registration of Nigeria’s largest opposition party.
The Senior Special Assistant to President Goodluck Jonathan on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe, has said the newly registered All Progressives Congress, APC, may not last for long because “its foundation is wrong, its combination is faulty and its ideologies are not clearly defined.’’
He said the registration of APC by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, underscored the openness of the present administration.
Mr. Okupe made this remark when he spoke with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.
He stressed that the registration of the APC by INEC also demonstrated “political liberalism of President Jonathan.
“This would not have happened under many Africa Presidents, especially when it is obvious that there were obvious hurdles and obstacles to that registration’’, Mr. Okupe said.
Such obstacles, he said, could have been exploited and amplified and used by people of lesser integrity to frustrate the registration of the party. He held that the PDP-led Federal Government was not afraid of the APC registration.
“These are people that were beaten individually and collectively before, we will defeat them randomly.
“But we are glad that at least, instead of fighting three or four parties, we can concentrate on one and get it done.
“I can assure you that there is nobody in the Presidency that is worried.
For us, it is a good thing, it is a great development. We will see how far they can go.’’
On speculations that some governors were planning to leave the PDP for opposition parties, he said they cannot afford to leave the party.
“Yes our party may have its problems, faults and inadequacies, but there is no alternative than to be inside. There are more than enough reasons for people to leave, but you know you don’t leave a winning platform politically; it amounts to committing political suicide.
“These are empty boasts and things that do not hold water. None of these governors as you can see for yourself is prepared to move.
“What they are trying to do is to move around and ensure that they are heard and have some of their demands met. Nobody is going anywhere because PDP is still the real party to beat’’, Mr. Okupe said.
Asked if President Jonathan will re-contest the presidency in 2015, Mr. Okupe said the president “has not decided and has not told anybody.”
“If the President decides to run for the presidency in 2015, nobody can beat him.’’
“The calculations are in his favour, the odds are in his favour, the national supports are in his favour, the performance index is in his favour,” he added.
He stressed that the only worry of the presidency for now, was how to ensure it delivered democracy dividends to the people and not 2015 presidential election.
“This is not the time to campaign. Those who are doing so are doing so because they have nothing to do, they are professional political jobbers.
They are not serious minded people, and they have nothing serious to do’’, Mr. Okupe contended.
He said the PDP leadership was working round the clock to have the court injunction restraining the party from holding its forthcoming Special National Convention slated for Aug. 31, vacated.
“I was told that those who went to court had said that they were no longer interested in the case, and so are withdrawing their case.
“So, the court injunction is not an issue anymore. The convention is on course’’, he added.