President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday in Jigawa, said governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party would continue to control happenings in the party until something is done about how delegates are selected to partake in national elections.
Speaking during a stakeholders interactive session at the Jigawa State Government House shortly after he inaugurated the new Dutse International Airport, the president explained that with the party’s current delegates pattern for national elections, any governor worth his salt should be able to control not less than 70 per cent of the delegates from his state.
He said if any (presidential) aspirant did not get up to 70 per cent delegates’ votes from a particular state, such an aspirant should know that the state governor is not behind him.
He said, “I always tell our party (the PDP) that until we change our delegate pattern, the governors must dictate what happens.
“The present delegates we have for all national elections, any governor that is fit to be a governor has control of about 70 per cent, whether we like it or not.
“So if you (an aspirant) doesn’t get up to 70 per cent or 60 per cent from a state, you know that that governor, no matter what he says, is not for you. In the general elections, the governor cannot control all the states”.
President Jonathan also cleared the air on the purported frosty relationship between him and the Jigawa governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido, saying he (Lamido) was a person he could trust.
Lamido was one of the seven aggrieved PDP Governors then, known as G-7 Governors, who threw the ruling party into a crisis following their call on the then national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur to resign from office and President Jonathan not to run for a second term.
However, putting all behind him, Jonathan recalled the role Lamido played in the 2011 elections which he (the president) won.
While saying that he assessed state governors then on how many votes he got during the presidential primaries, President Jonathan explained that if a governor meant well for him, even if he is unable to control the total number of votes during the general elections, he must deliver at least 70 per cent during the primaries.
“I used to tell people that I don’t have a problem with Sule Lamido. Even if there is a problem today, Sule Lamido is somebody I trust. He does not deceive. Let me reassure you that we have no problems; myself and Sule Lamido and definitely I will not have problems with the people of Jigawa State. All we have to do is to strengthen our relation more and more and work together”, he added.
Meanwhile, speaking earlier at the inauguration of the airport, President Jonathan assured all stakeholders that the Federal Government was committed to maintaining the safety of the nation’s airspace.