The Presidency on Sunday debunked insinuations that President Goodluck Jonathan was finding it difficult to make a pronouncement on his 2015 ambition because of the political heat in the polity.
Special Adviser on Political Matters to the President, Mr. Ahmed Gulak, made this known yesterday.
Gulak was reacting to an interview granted by Kano State Governor, Engr. Rabiu Kwankwaso on Saturday in which he, among other things, said Mr. Jonathan was finding it difficult to publicly declare his interest in the 2015 race because “the temperature is very hot for them now”.
But Gulak insisted the president would not be forced into making his position known on the next election by the likes of Kwankwaso.
The presidential aide noted that there was nothing special in the president declaring his interest as he could do so publicly or delegate his aides to do so on his behalf.
Gulak said, “Kwankwaso cannot cajole the President. Mr. President says he will declare in 2014 and we are just in February of 2014. He is not finding it difficult. What is in telling Nigerians that he wants to re-contest? He can do so by himself or through his aides when the time comes. He does not even need to do it in a rally. What is difficult about that?”
On Kwankwaso’s claim that Jonathan, having served first as acting President and now spending a fresh four-year term, ought not to seek re-election because it would be like going for a third term, Gulak said the governor was ignorant of the provisions of the Constitution.
He described the statement as misplaced and baseless.
Gulak said, “Kwankwaso does not understand constitutional provisions. He ought to know that the death of former President Yar’Adua made President Goodluck Jonathan to become the President according to constitutional provision.
“But the election of 2011 wherein Mr. President contested and won was his first term. The second term will start from 2015 to 2019 if he so desires.
“This issue was tested in the Federal High Court last year and the court gave judgment to the effect that President Jonathan is entitled to contest election in 2015”.