Abuja - Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom said on Thursday President Goodluck Jonathan deserved commendation for his adherence to the Rule of Law and respect for the nation’s judiciary.
Akpabio said this while speaking with State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa, Abuja
The governor spoke against the backdrop of the Federal Government’s obedience to Wednesday’s judgment of an Abuja Federal High Court, which ordered the swearing in of Mr Bala Ngilari as the Adamawa governor.
"Ngilari is a PDP man; he is not in the opposition and what it means is that I must always congratulate Jonathan for being a president who upholds the rule of law and who has respect for the judiciary.
"This is because it was a judicial pronouncement and of course the federal government has been known worldwide for upholding the rule of law.
"So, what happened in Adamawa, for me is a function of the fact that we must always give respect to judicial pronouncements and the judiciary.
"But the interesting aspect is that it is a family business for the PDP. Ngilari, the current governor, was of course the deputy governor who refused to defect to the APC.
"This is because of his belief in the PDP. He stayed with the PDP and he did not defect to the opposition.
"So, I think in coming back as the governor of Adamwa, he is doing that as a PDP governor, not as an APC governor.``
The court nullified the purported resignation of Ngilari, who was deputy to impeached Gov. Murtala Nyako, and ordered his immediate swearing in.
Few hours after the ruling, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Bello Adoke, issued a statement directing the Chief Judge of Adamawa to immediately swear in Ngilari.
Akpabio, who is the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, also said that the recent endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan as the sole presidential candidate of the party would deepen the country’s democracy.
According to him, the endorsement would not only make the 2015 presidential elections easier for the PDP, it would also rid the polity of violence and unnecessary acrimony.
"It (endorsement) is not just that it makes 2015 easier for the PDP, it also makes the political calculation in Nigeria totally free and devoid of violence and unnecessary acrimony.
"It brings harmony within the politics of the entire nation. Note also that it deepens democracy.
"I was asked this question by members of the congressional black caucus in the U.S. two weeks ago and we explained that here is a president that in spite of distractions has remained focused in trying to transform the Nigerian economy.
``That endorsement, for me, deepens democracy in all sense of the word and also signals the fact that Nigerian has arrived in terms of democratisation.
``Don’t forget that the PDP is modeled after the Democratic Party of America and they have almost similar practice.
"When they see a performing president in America, they don’t allow that president to go for unnecessary primaries. That was what happened with Obama.
"Obama did not pass through any primaries in the Democratic Party.
``The governors of Nigeria took cognisance of the best practices in democracy worldwide when that endorsement came and it was ratified by the Board of Trustees and the National Executive Committee of our great party.
"It is the first such has happened since 1960 and we want to congratulate all Nigerians and all the stakeholders who took part in that endorsement.
"And I assure you it will allow the president to focus on the main elections and the business of governance of the country."