Date Published: 05/10/10
Jonathan to complete YarAdua-Jonathan Eight Year Ticket
President Goodluck Jonathan ascension of power as the President of Nigeria following the unfortunate death of late President Umaru Musa Yar Adua is based on being a joint holder of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential ticket given to the late President and himself in 2007.
The statements of our elders of Northern extraction who are calling on President Jonathan not to run for 2011 are therefore not coming from the point of view of the constitution which clearly spelt out the mode of succession to the office of Presidency in Nigeria.
President Jonathan is not breaking the rule. He is fully keeping to the spirit of our constitution by assuming the office of the President now to continue with the joint ticket given him and late President Yar Adua in 2007.
Since the joint ticket is presumed to be for an eight-year tenure by the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) which gave it to them and since Jonathan cannot come back to serve as Vice President after ascending to the position of President due to the death of late President Yar Adua, it is just and lawful for him to complete the remaining five years of the joint ticket.
Jonathan’s case is the first we are experiencing under our constitution and it would be fair on the part of every well meaning Nigeria to support President Jonathan to complete remaining term of the ticket. We should emulate other democracies who have witnessed this situation.
There is nothing in our constitution that says President Jonathan should not run to complete their joint ticket in 2011. As our nation strives to advance democratic principles, we should grow our democracy soundly. Examples abound in other democracies of Vice Presidents who have been allowed to complete the joint tickets of their predecessor upon the death of such predecessor.
Andrew Johnson, Harry Truman, Theodore Roosevelt and Lyndon B Johnson are examples from the United States of America which has continued to be a model of our democracy and these great men continued with the joint tickets given to them and their predecessors.
We should allow Nigeria to move forward rather than threatening the existence of the nation with our utterances. Our general expectation should be how to run a country where everybody will have a sense of belonging, bearing in mind our national anthem.
Rather than mourn the loss of our great leader, our people are busy thinking of who will run for Presidency that has not expired. We should be happy to thank God that we have a man like President Jonathan who showed loyalty to his boss till death and openly promised to complete his programmes. This promise signifies the commitment of their joint ticket.
We should not see President Jonathan as a man from any single region or tribe now. We should see Jonathan in the spirit of a joint ticket and support him to achieve and actualize the programme that will immortalize his boss in the spirit of one Nigeria.
My fear is that when we start harping on him not to complete this joint ticket, people from his zone might start thinking otherwise in a country where everybody has equal right to aspire for any position.
I call on those threatening President Jonathan not to run for the completion of their tenure to join all well meaning Nigerians in ensuring that the President complete the programmes of his boss which also entails completion of their remaining tenure of the eight-year joint ticket.
Those calling on the President not to run are distractions which the President cannot afford now that he is busy trying to give Nigerians stable electricity, credible electoral system, lasting and sustainable economic growth and development as well as make our nation truly prosperous in line with our abundant resources and opportunities.
President Jonathan is a man of peace. We Nigerians are desirous of good governance and we should therefore support him in actualizing the joint ticket dream of Yar Adua/Jonathan and move the country forward. This is the feeling of the common man in Nigeria and not those who are locked in sharing position and not developing the nation and create employment for our teaming youths, who have remained unemployed.
Prince Emma Anyanwu JP
Rivers State Elder-statesman
Founding Member of the People Democratic Party