The Presidency yesterday disclosed that in spite of the adoption of President Goodluck Jonathan as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), any other candidate wishing to contest the party primary is free to do so.
Jonathan’s Special Adviser on Political Matters, Professor Rufa’i Alkali, who made the disclosure, also explained that the consensus on the President’s candidature was meant to strengthen democracy, contrary to impression by the opposition.
Alkali stressed that Jonathan has rather been disposed to having a keen contest with candidates presented by political parties in the opposition camp next year, and has been preparing well ahead of the contest.
Jonathan’s aide made the clarifications in reaction to barrage of criticisms which have been trailing the President’s adoption last week by the PDP and caucuses of the party in the National Assembly and among the governors.
According to him, what the PDP did was to affirm its maturity in political game based on its rich experience of being in power for the past 16 years and had thus succeeded in obviating internal wrangling that usually trails internal electioneering among members.
He maintained that the option of consensus was not strange in the politics of the country.
According to him, all political parties at critical times deploy the option, most especially when the need arises for them to stay afloat.
“Looking critically at the turn of events in PDP, it is trite to conjecture that the Party, considering all critical elements, has succeeded in demonstrating strength, unity and determination to make the difference this time around while staving off untoward possibilities.
“We should not forget that PDP having been in power since 1999 remains the most experienced, dependable, consistent and strongest with spread in all nooks and crannies of the country.
“If it deploys such experience in putting its house in order so as to excel in the coming general election, the rest of Nigeria should rather applaud its approach and tactics in politics. Moreover, there has not been any complaint in any quarter from within on the good option the PDP had taken.
Alkali said the PDP resolved to encourage President Jonathan to contest the 2015 presidential election being a good product with sterling performances to attest for his leadership in the past three and half years he has been in the saddle.
He counseled that politicians in the country should begin to move away from adversarial politics by which he said the country has been wasting good leaders over the years for no just reasons.
He said if efforts by PDP to represent Jonathan for the 2015 poll should be applauded, the need to show-case him as a performing leader and the need to entrench continuity in the polity as done in other climes should come into reckoning.