Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, on Thursday predicted a hitch-free re-election for President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015.
His prediction came on the heels of the endorsement of Jonathan by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the party’s sole candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
Akpabio, who is the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, spoke with State House correspondents after emerging from a closed-door meeting with President Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said: “It is not only that it makes 2015 easier for the PDP. It also makes the political calculation in Nigeria totally free and devoid of violence and unnecessary acrimony and it brings harmony within the politics of the entire nation. Note that it deepens democracy.
“I was asked this question by a member of Congressional Black Caucus in United States two weeks ago, he said why the endorsement and we explained. I said here is a President despite all the distractions, he has remained focused in trying to transform the Nigerian economy and today even under the present circumstances, Nigeria is running the biggest economy in Africa. I didn’t say so, it is the World Bank and the international agencies that said that. What we need to do now is to translate that into job creation for our children and to bring more industries to Nigeria and to attract more investments.
“But of course we cannot rest on our oars, we must work harder to improve the power sector and the impetus in the agricultural sector. So that endorsement for me deepens democracy in every sense of the word and also signals to the world that Nigeria has arrive in terms of democratization. Don’t forget that the PDP is modeled after the democratic party of America that has almost similar practice. When they see a performing President in America they don’t allow him to go for unnecessary primaries and that was what happened with Barack Obama.
“Obama didn’t go through any primaries in the democratic party. And so the governors of Nigeria took a look at the best practices of democracies worldwide and that endorsement came and was rectified by the Board of Trustees and the National Executive Committee of our great party. It is the first time such is happening since 1960 and we congratulate all Nigerians and all stakeholders that took part in that endorsement. And I can assure you that it will allow the President to focus on the main elections and the business of governing the country”.
Akpabio, however, maintained that such endorsement was not feasible in Akwa Ibom because of the large number of gubernatorial hopefuls, which made stakeholders to leave the field open for a free and fair primary election to select a governorship candidate for the PDP in the state.