Abuja - The opposition is “rattled” by the recent endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan as the sole candidate of the ruling party, Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governors Forum and the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, said.
He made the declaration in Akwa Ibom during the PDP Performance Publicity Tour led by the party National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh.
Akpabio described the decision of the National Executive Committee of the PDP to adopt President Jonathan as the single presidential candidate of the party for the 2015 general elections as a “well calculated exercise in democracy.”
The opposition All Progressives Congress had criticized the move as an affront to democracy.
“The opposition is rattled because of the ability of the governors and leaders of the PDP to sacrifice their individual ambitions and rally behind the President who has performed exceedingly well,” Akpabio said.
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“The adoption by NEC is democracy in action. In America that we are copying, the incumbent president does not go through primaries. We are not saying that the President will not face the general elections. So the idea of him spending presidential time instead of facing insurgency, food insufficiency and other things that may affect the country and begin to campaign for the party ticket when he is already the incumbent president is what we want to avoid . I think this is a very fantastic model of internal democracy.”
“What we only said and did is, let's sacrifice our individual ambition so that Mr. President will have a second term. We are not saying that other people should not contest election, but saying that as PDP governors, that we want to join hands and support him to win the second term.
"It does not mean that any person who wants to contest should not contest. We are indeed deepening democracy by sacrificing our own ambition,” Akpabio added.
He added that the PDP governors by that decision also resolved to stabilize the party and avoid the unfortunate situation that leaves the party fractured after primary elections.
“Instead of fracturing the party at the end of the convention, we want to move as one family to elect the presidential candidate at the convention and that is democracy in action. So I don't think anybody should criticize it, rather we should be commended for not behaving like past governors who by now, nine or 15 of them would have declared for presidency and then confusion will start in the party.
– CAJ News