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By News Express on 02/03/2013

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Except the unexpected happens, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR, will rule Nigeria till 2019. This is the implication of yesterday’s judgement by Hon. Justice Oniyangi of Court 4 High Court Abuja declaring that Jonathan is in his first term which commenced on May 29, 2011 and is thus free to seek a second term in office during the 2015 general election under the platform of any political party of his choice.

The judgement was delivered in suit FCT/HC/CV/2749/2012 between Cyracus Njoku Vs Jonathan, PDP & INEC, in which Njoku, a member of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) prayed the court to declare that Jonathan cannot run having previously completed the term of his erstwhile principal Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, who died in office as President on May 5, 2010.

With the clearing of that legal hurdle, Jonathan will obviously present himself for selection as the 2015 presidential candidate of the ruling PDP. Going by precedent, he will emerge as the party’s candidate since it is unthinkable for a sitting President to be defeated in a party primary ballot.

Then what happens in the presidential election itself? News Express sees Jonathan emerging victorious on account of his track record, his ability/that of the PDP to retain his strongholds, and the inability of the emergent mega opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), to make any meaningful breakthrough in Jonathan’s/PDP’s traditional areas of strength.  

Track record: Though Jonathan remains heavily criticised for under-performing, the evidence is that he is actually delivering in some areas, especially with regard to infrastructural development. Agriculture, aviation, roads and energy, for instance, have witnessed appreciable progress even as corruption and insecurity remain big drawbacks. Jonathan, in his desire for re-election, will likely strive to accomplish more over the next two years and by so doing endear himself to the electorate.

Strongholds remain largely intact: The South-East (which has adopted Jonathan as its own), South-South (where he comes from), North-Central (which is desperate for autonomy from the old North) as well as large swathes of the South-West and core North remain solidly behind Jonathan.

APC needs a miracle to break into Jonathan’s strongholds: While APC is by any standard a significant development which may in future alter the country’s political equation, the reality is that it needs a miracle to be accepted in the South-East, South-South and North-Central. The party is essentially an alliance between the South-West and core North but needs to make dramatic inroads outside these regions if it is to take over power at the centre. Besides, APC will likely settle for a northern presidential candidate and a south-western running mate in 2015, thus further alienating the regions that Jonathan presently counts as his biggest fans.

Conclusion: In view of the above, Jonathan is as good as guaranteed a second term when he exhausts his current mandate on May 28, 2015.

•Photo: President Jonathan, seen here waving at the crowds, is as good as having won a second term.

Source News Express

Posted 02/03/2013 1:52:52 PM


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