2015: Why I’m not sticking out my neck for Jonathan yet, by Amaechi


Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State said yesterday that it will be futile for him to start supporting President Goodluck Jonathan now for re-election in 2015. This he said was because the President has not told him yet of his plan to contest.

He said it is also too early for him (Amaechi) or any one for that matter to start talking now about contesting the 2015 Presidential elections.

The interview came 24 hours after he met with the President in Abuja and on a day the five northern governors backing him (Amaechi) also met with the President over the crisis rocking the PDP.
But Amaechi said those accusing him of constituting a threat to Jonathan’s re-election are missing the point because as he put it: “Has Goodluck Jonathan told you that he wants to run? If he wants to contest, he will call me and inform me. And then we will look at it.”

Asked by his interviewer whether there was any reason why he might not want to support the president having come from the same geo-political zone, Amaechi retorted: “I don’t understand what you mean by I come from the same zone as the president and if there is any reason why I cannot support him. I’ve told you that the President is yet to say whether he wants to run or not.”
The interviewer persisted and told the governor whether he did not think his refusal to answer the question was responsible for his problem with the Presidency.

Amaechi snapped back, saying: “What makes the question simple? You want me to become a prophet and determine that the president will contest? Assuming I say today that I will support the President and tomorrow the President says he is not contesting. Let the President inform me that he wants to contest. Don’t accuse the president of doing something that he is not responsible for. If he decides to contest, he will call those that he wants to support him. That would be the time that we will discuss the issue.”

On whether he wants to be a presidential running mate in 2015, he retorted, “Why won’t you wait till 2015? My focus for now is how to govern Rivers State and ensure that the people benefit from my administration.”
On whether he may defect from PDP especially now that he has been suspended, he said, “I am not; I am in court with the PDP because I don’t think they followed the process in taking that decision against me. I want the court to determine whether what they did was right.”

On the allegation that he is fraternising with the opposition
“How did they know that? Have they seen me in any opposition meeting? Because I hold different views from the leaders of the party, then they will say I am in the opposition?”

On alleged moves by him and some northern governors to float a party
“I don’t know. I have no idea about any group. All I know is that there are some of us who don’t like the way things are being done. There is the need to address these issues.”
On the specifics of their disagreement with the leadership of the PDP

“It is all muddled up. You won’t talk about governance without talking about the party. The party needs to look at the direction the government is going…If we want victory at the polls, we have to correct these things. The party is not consulting enough; it seems as if the party wants to undermine the governors. What you see in the NGF is a deliberate attempt to cause confusion and division among the governors.”
On whether he was suggesting that the PDP is weak

“No, I didn’t say that. Just that there are some disagreements in the party and they are affecting the internal cohesion of the party. It is the responsibility of the leaders of the party to address the problems.”
On how the leadership should handle the planned national convention

“That will not solve the problem. First and foremost they shouldn’t continue with a mini convention without arresting the situation. They have to arrest the current situation of things in the party because if that is not done, the problems will continue within the different camps.”




The nation
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