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2007: ‘Obasanjo does not favour governors’

Posted by By LUCKY NWANKWERE, Abuja on 2006/11/13 | Views: 516 |

2007: ‘Obasanjo does not favour governors’


The Presidency has said the search for President Olusegun Obasanjo’s successor in 2007 cannot be restricted to any particular group of politicians or certain candidates, declaring the contest open to all eligible Nigerians.

The Presidency has said the search for President Olusegun Obasanjo’s successor in 2007 cannot be restricted to any particular group of politicians or certain candidates, declaring the contest open to all eligible Nigerians.

President Obasanjo as the leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it explained, had been working assiduously to build a party with inclusiveness and participation as watchwords and so could not afford to destroy his work by putting any group at an advantage over the others in the party.

The Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Mallam Uba Sani, who made this clarification in Abuja Sunday in a chat with newsmen, said there was no truth whatsoever in the allegation being peddled around that President Obasanjo had narrowed the choice of his successor in 2007 to only state governors.

“We wish to state categorically and in the strongest terms that the president at no time instructed that the search for the next president should be restricted to governors. On the contrary, certain persons have been moving around telling Nigerians that they have been endorsed by the president for the highest office in the land.

“We restate for the umpteenth time that the president is a true democrat who has devoted the better part of his life towards the expansion of the frontiers of democracy. How then can he restrict the choice of the next leader to only governors,” Uba queried.
Urging all eligible Nigerians, particularly PDP members interested in taking over from the president not to be discouraged by some of what he termed erroneous impressions being created in some circles, he said President Obasanjo was not interested in “power by conspiracy.”

“We call on all eligible Nigerians who are members of the Peoples Democratic Party to step out and aspire for the office of the president. It is their constitutional right. The president is committed to creating a level playing field so that the best candidate can emerge,” he stated.
Sani advised all those interested in becoming the next president to go about their campaigns without dropping Obasanjo’s names or ascribing to him what he never said, adding that the president was not interested in what he called ‘quick fixes.’

He said Nigerian democracy was gradually taking root and as such only issue-based politics should be promoted in the country, while calling on candidates to sell themselves to the electorate on the basis on their programmes.

“We are committed to reinventing issues-based politics in Nigeria. The next president should be elected on the basis of superior programmes. Such a person should be able to move round the country canvassing for the support of the people. Such a person should come to power with credibility and legitimacy. He must have a pact with the people,” he added.

The presidential aide, however, expressed pleasure with the fact that even the ‘doubting Thomases’ had come to the reality that President Obasanjo would actually quit office at the expiration of his tenure, saying there was no basis for the doubt in the first place.

“The fact that some of these people have shifted from their former position of doubting that he would go to now talking about those he favours as possible successor means we are progressing,” he pointed out.
A couple of weeks ago, the president was reported to have met with PDP governors wherein he mandated them to pick one of them for the job, suggesting that he might be favourably disposed to having a governor succeed him.

Before them, he had constituted a committee headed by erstwhile Governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, to screen and recommend a candidate from among the governors. The panel had not finished its assignment before Fayose was controversially impeached.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.