From TAIWO AMODU, Abuja
As the controversy continues on the alleged pact between President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP governors, limiting the former to spend one term as president, the Presidency has cautioned the governors and party chieftains to refrain from raising the issue, which, it claimed, could distract the president.
Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu in an interview last weekend had alleged that there was an agreement sealed with President Jonathan by the governors on the party’s platform, limiting him to spend one term.
Aliyu further revealed that it was on the basis of the pact that the governors agreed to support Dr. Jonathan to pick the PDP presidential ticket for the 2011 general elections.
Reacting to the dust raised by Governor Aliyu’s revelation, Senior Special Adviser on Public Communication to President Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe cautioned that sustaining the argument on the alleged pact could inflame anger and distract President Jonathan from facing the onerous challenge of governance.
Okupe further warned that the time was not ripe for discourse on 2015 presidential campaigns “and so President Goodluck Jonathan will not jump the gun.” Part of the statement from Okupe read: “Our attention has been drawn to issues raised by some political leaders to the effect that President Goodluck Jonathan signed an agreement with some governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party prior to the party’s presidential primaries in 2011.
“From time immemorial, for every major event or contest in the world, there is always a time and a season apportioned. “We wish to state categorically that this is neither the time nor the season to begin electioneering campaign or related discourse for the 2015 presidential elections and so President Goodluck Jonathan will not jump the gun.
“Mr. President will therefore resist any disguised or open attempt to drag him into any debates, arguments or political discussions relating to a presidential election in 2015.
The president considers this as an invidious attempt to sway him from his chosen pursuit of the set out constituents of the transformation agenda, which form the basis upon which Nigerians elected him to steer the ship of the Nation in 2011.
“President Goodluck Jonathan will not for any reason abandon these laudable goals to engage in a distractive political debate with any individual or group of persons. “However, we will not hold it against anyone who wishes to pursue such agenda because Nigeria is a free country and will continue to be so under this president.
“For now, this is our position on this matter and we assure Nigerians of Mr. President’s resolve to continue to devote his energy to a successful implementation of the transformation agenda, fix Nigeria and thereby justify the mandate freely given to him by the Nigerian people.”