Nigerians are expressing mixed reactions to President Goodluck Jonathan’s declaration that he will vie for the ruling PDP ticket for next year’s election. After months of speculation, he told governors of his party that he intends to be a candidate. But why the delay?
“He was just testing the waters,” says Abubakar Momoh, a political science lecturer at the Lagos State University. He says the president needed “to understand the dynamics and see how political re-alignment and alignment are likely to influence his strategies….”
The president needed to fully understand the situation facing him, says Momoh.
“His own key campaign strategists…said not to let the cat out of the bag. Let us test the waters first and see how opinion is going to [develop], both in the media and among the power brokers and the political godfathers.”
“The north did not miscalculate in not presenting a single candidate to oppose President Jonathan,” Momoh says.
He argues that the problems confronting the country are beyond what geographical area the president comes from.
“This is not about old face or new face but about new ideas. My sense is that we are really in huge deficit of new ideas to move this country forward. The Jonathan offer, in my view, has also not provided new ideas.”