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More Speculations About Nigerian President's 2011 Ambition

  • James Butty

Representative Ita Enang of the ruling PDP says President Jonathan's only concern is to deliver on his promise to bring electricity to Nigerians

Speculation about whether Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan will seek re-election in 2011 continues to grow even as the President’s advisors deny that he has already decided to seek re-election.

A report in one Nigerian newspaper said Sunday that President Jonathan has already received the approval of state governors of the ruling People’s Democratic Party over his ambition to seek re-election.

President Jonathan himself was said to have reportedly announced Sunday on Nigerian national television his intention to seek re-election.

Representative Ita Enang of the ruling PDP representing the southern state of Akwa Ibom in Nigeria’s House of Representatives said President Jonathan’s only concern is to deliver on his promise to bring electricity and other infrastructure.

“I did not hear the president, or any of his aides, or his spokesperson, or the party officers speaking on his behalf, to say that he will run in 2011. All I have heard the president say in all our interaction is that he is going to concentrate on delivering, particularly the challenge Nigeria is having in power sector, collapsed infrastructure, the unemployment, and, of course, the reactivation and revitalization of the refinery,” he said.

Representative Enang said the rumors surrounding whether President Jonathan would seek re-election are being circulated by those who would want to see him fail.

“It is just 10 days after the death of the former president (Yar’Adua). It will be impolitic(al) (unwise) for us to start that. I think this is intended to divert attention from governance to politicking so that it will be said that (Mr.) Jonathan did not do well, or that (President) Jonathan concentrated his attention on politics without delivering on power, delivering on refinery, delivering on electoral reform, delivering on constitutional amendment, delivering on unemployment,” Enang said.

He dismissed suggestions that outgoing ruling PDP chairman Prince Vincent Ogbulafor was forced out because of his alleged objection to President Jonathan seeking re-election.

“The outgoing chairman has only given notice of (his) resignation. He has not resigned. He is saying that because of the challenges he’s having with legal issues that he wants to have time to face the issues and prove his innocence. There is no element of a suspicion that pressure came from any direction for him to resign,” he said.

Enang added that the national chairman of the ruling PDP does not determine the party’s presidential candidate. He said that decision is made at the national convention of the party.

All attempts to get officials of the ruling PDP to confirm or deny whether the president will seek re-election have proven futile.