Jonathan, contest election, face court action •Atiku group warns president

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has been urged to have a rethink on his presidential ambition so as not to undermine the Peoples Democratic Party’s principle of zoning. The warning was given by the Turaki Vanguard, a political organisation propagating the presidential ambition of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar. The group’s National Publicity Secretary, Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, who stated this on Thursday while briefing

correspondents in Yola, warned that if President Jonathan succumbed to the pressure from mischief makers and undemocratic elements, the Turaki Vanguard would have no option but to seek legal redress.

“We expect President Jonathan to exclude himself from the PDP primaries, but if he insists on running for the presidency, then we will take him to court for a breach of trust and violation of the zoning principle that ushered him into office,” Eze said.

Eze stated that, “as far as we are concerned, President Jonathan is not an aspirant to the country’s presidential seat come 2011. We are insisting that he should not contemplate such a thing, considering his office as an incumbent president. It will be a national embarrassment if a serving president goes to the party’s primaries and fails to pick the party’s ticket.”

The National Publicity Secretary of the Turaki Vanguard explained that former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, became a civilian ruler in 1999 based on the grand design to appease the South after the annulment of the June 12, 1993 election, believed to have been won by the late Chief MKO Abiola.

In view of this, Eze said that “the only right and patriotic thing for President Jonathan to do is to forget the 2011 presidency to pave the way for a northerner,” adding that by so doing, “the North would have been appeased to finish its tenure, following the demise of President Umaru Yar’Adua.

“The principle of zoning must be respected by President Goodluck Jonathan, because it is the process that brought him to power. The constitution of the PDP is very clear and unambigous in that regard.

So we expect Mr President to follow the path of honour and dignity to jettison the few undemocratic forces trying to lure him into the 2011 presidential race,” Eze insisted.

He explained that going by the PDP’s constitution, the party’s presidential contestant would be sponsored by the party, and argued that since the PDP had remained resolute in its position to ensure that the principle of zoning held sway, it was incumbent on President Jonathan to read the writing on the wall.

“Look, for one to be a contestant to the presidency, in particular on the PDP platform, one has to receive the endorsement of the PDP, and as far as the party is concerned, the principle of zoning should be maintained, and we expect the president to abide by that simple principle,” the Turaki Vanguard’s spokesperson added.