President Goodluck Jonathan has indirectly responded to the Abubakar Kawu Baraje-led new Peoples’ Democratic Party, nPDP, demand that he should forgo his second term in 2015 for the sake of peace insisting that the Nigerian Constitution guarantees a maximum provision of eight years for anyone, who wants to become president or governor.
If President Jonathan recontests in 2015, he would have spent a maximum of nine years which includes the period he saw out the remaining tenure of late President Umaru Yar’Adua.
He spoke on Sunday midnight during a meeting with Nigerian Professionals in New York, United States, where he is attending the United Nations General Assembly.
Mr. Jonathan, who is yet to publicly declare his ambition on the 2015 presidential election, believed that the administration should be more concerned with delivering dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
Stressing that the interest of the nation is greater than that of any individual, the president urged those sounding the drum beats of disintegration to desist.
He also urged the political class in the country to drop the idea of do or die approach to politics and allow him to concentrate on his core mandate of governance.
Mr. Jonathan said, “Already we have a constitution that makes provision for maximum of eight years for anyone who wants to become a president or a governor. There is no president or governor that all citizens vote for but at the end of the election if somebody emerges you must allow the person to work.
“If you love your country, you would want your country to work. That does not mean that you will not vote against the person if you don’t like the way he works but you must allow him to work.
“No matter how you feel about the political situation, consider the interest of your country first before yourself. If you are struggling to enter a house you must not put dynamite to destroy the house. By the time you get there, there will be no house for you to stay.
“So first and foremost we must collectively build our country. Don’t bother about who is there now because power is transient, very temporary,” the President added.
On corruption, he said “So many people are saying we are not doing well in fighting corruption and before you say that, there must be a parameter for judging us. What are the yardsticks they are using to judge us?”