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Akpabio: PDP’s Adoption of Jonathan’s Candidacy will Ensure Violence-free Election


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Nigeria

IMAGE: Chief Godswill Akpabio, Akwa Ibom State Governor »

October.10.2014

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Chief Godswill Akpabio yesterday said the adoption of President Goodluck Jonathan by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as its sole presidential candidate in 2015 election would make the political calculation in Nigeria totally free, devoid of violence and unnecessary acrimony.

He said it would also bring harmony within the politics of the entire nation and make the election easier for the PDP.

Akpabio stated this while fielding questions from State House correspondents shortly after he visited the president at the Presidential Villa.

“Note that it deepens democracy. I was asked this question by a member of the Congressional Black Caucus in the United States two weeks ago. He said why the endorsement? And we explained. I said here is a president in spite of all distractions, he has remained focused in trying to transformed the Nigerian economy and today even under the present circumstances, Nigeria is running the biggest economy in Africa.

“I didn’t say so, it is World Bank and the international agencies. And we have been rated the 24th economy in Africa. What we need to do now is to translate that into job creation for our children and to bring more industries to Nigeria and to attract more investments.

“But of course we cannot rest on our oars. We must work harder to improve the power sector and the impetus in the agricultural sector. So that endorsement for me deepens democracy in every sense of the word and also signals to the world that Nigeria has arrive in terms of democratisation.

“Don’t forget that the PDP is modelled after the Democratic Party of America that has almost similar practice. When they see a performing president in America, they don’t allow him to go for unnecessary primaries and that was what happened with Barack Obama.

“Obama didn’t go through any primary in the Democratic Party. And so the governors of Nigeria took a look at the best practices of democracies worldwide and that endorsement came and was rectified by the Board of Trustees  (BoT) and the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our great party.

“It is the first time such is happening since 1960 and we congratulate all Nigerians and all stakeholders that took part in that endorsement. And I can assure you that it will allow the president to focus on the main elections and the business of governing the country” the governor said.

On whether endorsement would still be used in Akwa Ibom, Akpabio said it would be very difficult because of the large number of aspirants.

“If you have a large number of aspirants, it is good to allow all of them to go to the field and test their popularity. I did that, I am a product of good primaries. We were 58 in number in 2006; we were the highest in the country.

“I contested against 57 people;  So, I defeated 57 people to become the governor of Akwa Ibom State. So, at the state level, once you have a lot of people showing interest in the governorship, it is good to allow a level playing field and give opportunity to all.

“It also helps democracy because it helps people to go out, propagate the ideas of the party and talk about what they would like to do for the electorate, sell themselves and the manifestos and from there the electorate would have the opportunity to pick the best out of the lot.

“But the presidential election that is coming up in the PDP is different. We have not seen any other person coming out to challenge Mr. President because of his credibility and what he has been able to put on ground.

“Everybody says ‘oh, the transformation agenda of the president is on course and what else would they come to do than to allow him to continue? Why can’t we give a chance to the man who has initiated the transformation to conclude the transformation?’ That is why it is different in the presidency, and that is why it is novel; it has never been done before since 1960.

“But at the state level, I would want to urge all my colleagues, the governors and stakeholders of the PDP to allow a level playing field so that all candidates can go out there” Akpabio said.

On Ngilari’s swearing-in as Adamawa governor, he explained that “Ngilari is a PDP and the PDP is not in opposition and what it means is that we must always congratulate the president for being a president who upholds the rule of law and who has respect for the judiciary because this was a judicial pronouncement and of course the federal government has been known worldwide for upholding the rule of law.”

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago
 

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Tags:     Chief Godswill Akpabio     President Goodluck Jonathan     NEC

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