As national leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, seek for resolution of the crisis rocking the party, the leader of the parallel ‘New PDP’ and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar has declared that President Goodluck Jonathan is at liberty to contest the 2015 election if he so desires.
The politics of 2015 is central to the rift in PDP as some of the rebel G7 governors are kicking against President Jonathan going into the race. But the chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Dr. Godswill Akpabio said after the last peace meeting at the presidential villa that the aggrieved governors agreed at the meeting that the ambition of every member of the party is an individual thing.
In an interview published in an on-line media, Atiku disagreed with those who are of the view that Jonathan should not contest 2015 election for whatever reason, and stressed that apart from a court of competent jurisdiction no group of persons on their own could stop Jonathan from participating in the electoral process in 2015.
Responding to questions on the report that that was one of the conditions given by the G7 governors for peace to reign again in PDP Atiku said, “That is not correct. No person has a right to stop the other from pursuing his rights as guaranteed by the law. If President Jonathan doesn’t have the rights to contest the 2015 presidential election, only the court can make such pronouncement, not an individual or a group of individuals. It is entirely up to Dr. Jonathan to say he will run or not. My view is that with zoning in the PDP now dead, anyone qualified under the constitution is free to run.”
The former vice president and one of the founders of PDP traced the problem in the ruling party to the era of former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration and emphasised that the rot in PDP was as a result of deviation from the dream of the founding fathers of the party.
“It was commonly agreed upon among the founding fathers of the party that the PDP was going to be a political party that will operate and function by the rules; and that decision-making in the party would comply with democratic norms.
“But along the line, and not too long after the party won the presidential election in 1999 and also won the majority of seats in the National Assembly, the PDP began to change in character and in content.
“The change in character had to do with the fact that some elements in the leadership of the party began to wield an iron fist; and the change in content began when the PDP started to change its own laws to gratify the desires of a few powerful individuals in the party”.