Obasanjo justifies preference for Jonathan’s candidacy
PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has vowed that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party would do everything to get all the states in the South West zones from ‘rascals’ before 2015 as former President Olusegun Obasanjo justified why he preferred President Jonathan to other aspirants who contested with in the primaries of the party at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State, President Goodluck Johnathan, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, vice President Nnamdi Sambo and PDP Ag. National Chairman, Alhaji Bello Mohammed at the PDP South West Rally in Ibadan.
The President, who talked in an unusual manner, said this at the flag-off of his presidential campaign in the South West.
According to him, the ruling party must control Lagos State which has been in the firm grip of the Action Congress of Nigeria.
The well attended rally by party chieftains both at the national and in the zone held at the ancient Mapo Hall where security agents had hectic time controlling the mammoth crowd.
The coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo Campagin Organization in the South West, Otunba Gbenga Daniel and the Senate leader, Senator Teslim Folarin, former Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola were conspicuously absent.
Their absenteeism may not be unconnected with the failure of the party to present them or any other candidates for the April poll.
Vanguard gathered that Ogun State radio was making repeated announcement on Monday that the rally would not hold again but the announcement could not be traced to the aggrieved governor who has gone to court to challenge the party on the controversial list of the candidate displayed by INEC which did not contain any of his choice candidates.
Describing the South West as the most important in the country because of its political antecedents, the president, said the zone was too educated, civilized to be left in the hands of rascals.
Though, he did not mention the name of any person in particular, he stressed that Lagos, as a commercial nerve centre in the country was very important and the party must ensure that it controlled the state after the April polls.
On the two states in the zone-Ekiti, Ondo and Osun States that have already been taken over by the ACN, he promised before 2015 when he would steer the ship of the country if given the mandate, all the states in the zone would be taken over by the ruling party.
President Jonathan said, “Lagos is a commercial centre and the ruling party must control the state. We will take over Ekiti, Osun and Ondo States. Before 2015, we will take over the South West. South West is too educated and civilized to be left in the hands of rascals”.
While speaking on the security situation in the country, he promised that no stone would be left unturned to ensure the security of lives and property.
According to him, the era of committing crime with impunity is over and everything would be done to improve on the security situation in the country.
He promised the country that most of our industries would be reactivated and steps would be taken to enhance the economy.
On the power generation, he noted he was aware of the important role that power plays in the economy of a nation and as at now, the country is generating about 4,000 megawatts which would be improved upon.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo justified why he preferred President Jonathan to other aspirants who contested with in the primaries of the party at the Eagle Square, Abuja.
He said, South South zone, having suffered neglect and marginalization over the years, it would be proper to give them a sense of belonging so that things can move forward in the country.
Chief Obasanjo said, “with the political history of our country, the unity will be strengthened if a person from the minority group from South-South. With the things happening, we have been proved right”.
He, however, warned the party not to take things too lightly. “Nothing should be taken for granted. We do know that there are areas crying for attention-security, unemployment of youths, corruption and infrastructure. These can’t be neglected. As for me, I take solace in the fact that President Goodluck Jonathan who has gone through the period of tutelage would work”.
The host governor, Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala assured the president that since previous presidents who visited the ancient Mapo Hall won their elections, Jonathan’s would not be an exception.
He boasted that it was not possible that he, the president would contest election and lose.
Towards the end of the rally, the acting National Chairman of the Alhaji Bello Haliru Mohammed who was flanked by the National Vice Chairman, South West Alhaji Tajudeen Oladipo handed the party’s flags to Governor Akala, Mr. Adegboyega Dosunmu, Adetunji Olurin as PDP governorship flagbearers for Oyo, Lagos and Ogun States respectively. Also, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole received the party’s flag on behalf of the candidates for the lower chamber.
Other important dignitaries at the rally were Mrs. Oluwakemi Alao-Akala, former Governor of Ekiti State, Engineer Segun Oni, Former Military Governor of Lagos State. Raji Rasaki, and other dignitries.