South-south, Middle Belt elders endorse Jonathan for second term

Leaders from the South-south and the Middle Belt, yesterday urged President Goodluck Jonathan to run for a second term in office. The leaders, led by First Republic Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, who made the call in Abuja, during a meeting with the president, dismissed arguments by some people that Jonathan should not seek re-election in 2015, saying the call was not valid.  Clark told State House correspondents, after the meeting with the president that lasted for about one hour, that the elders, under the aegis of Congress for Equality and Change (CEC), came to interact with the president and to urge him to seek a fresh mandate in 2015. According to him, no amount of criticism of the president would be sufficient to rule him out of the 2015 contest as he was constitutionally eligible to contest again. Clark said the position of the CEC was not taken in isolation of notable stakeholders in the three geo-political zones of North-east, North-central and South-south, adding that all of them agreed that Jonathan should seek a second term in conformity with the principles of justice and equality. He explained that his group found it necessary to begin an early campaign for the president because there was an early campaign of calumny against him. “We could not have talked about 2015. It is because some people have started to say that he is not qualified to contest election in 2015 and those of us who believe in it and the constitution is there, educate them and that is what we are doing. Whatever the president said about waiting till 2014 before he would decide, that does not affect those who believe that he has a right,” he said. Jonathan, in his response, assured the group that his administration would never allow itself to be derailed from pursuing its transformation agenda to its logical conclusion. He also thanked the Middle Belt and South-south regions for their contributions to national unity, stressing that the unity of Nigeria “depends on the cooperation of all.”



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