President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday formally declared that he will seek a second term of office at next year’s general election amidst growing tension and unrest in the North-eastern parts of the country ravaged by terror attacks.
“I, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan, have accepted to present myself on the platform of the PDP,” he told supporters of his Peoples Democratic Party at a mass rally in Abuja.
Jonathan has been head of state of Africa’s most populous nation, leading economy and top oil producer since 2010, when he took over following the death of president Umara Yar’Adua, winning elections in 2011.
The Christian President of the Southern Minority has been heavily criticised for staging a come back event of such magnitude less than 24 hours following the demise of 48 school boys killed by terrorists in Potiskum Yobe State by suspected Boko Haram Militants.
An Abuja resident who spoke to NewsWireNGR Kabir Umar said, “If Jonathan is re-elected, i don’t know what will become of the North, he obviously doesn’t give a damn about what happens to our people and that is very disturbing”
“Only yesterday our kids died in a most gruesome way ever but today he stands to promise us what? I left the North-east for Abuja so as to avoid what is happening there but my family members have been killed by terrorists” Umar said.
Police said the attack in Government Senior Science Secondary School, Potiskum, killed 47 people and injured 79 others.
Kingsley Odey said, ” To be frank, Nigeria has been divided between the government and the governed, they only think of 2015, both the PDP and APC do not care what happens to the people, my heart bleeds.”
“NewsWire, did you people see the kids that died yesterday? Do you think we have a leadership that cares? Only 2015 will define Nigeria” Odey said.
While Nigerians question the capabilities of Jonathan’s first term bid rocked by series of attacks and lack of political will to stop the ongoing attacks. The President during the declaration pledged to do all “humanly possible” to defeat Boko Haram, a day after a suicide bomber killed dozens. He was also flanked by state governors and senators elected on the platform of the PDP at the rally.
Addressing party supporters at the Eagles Square in Abuja Tuesday, Mr. Jonathan said the killings, one of many, has clearly “cast a dark cloud” on Nigeria. But he said Nigeria, under his watch, will defeat a bloody five-year-old insurgency by Boko Haram which is suspected of being behind the school bombing.
“Many Nigerians have lost their lives and property to these mindless killings,” Mr. Jonathan said. “A number of young men and women have been kidnapped by these criminal elements including our daughters from Chibok. We will free our daughters and defeat terrorism.”
Mr. Jonathan said his government, which has come under intense criticisms over its handling of the crisis, was currently equipping the armed forces and deploying Special Forces to fight Boko Haram and end the “senseless war”.
“We must protect our country. We must save our people. I will do everything humanly possible to end this criminal violence in our Nation,” he said.
For the first time in the history of the ruling PDP, Jonathan has been able to image the sole candidate of the party ahead of the next election, a poll he will be standing up against a candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress who is yet to emerge.
If he gets the second term mandate, political analysts are uncertain what will become of the already fragile Nigerian state ravaged by terrorists activities. So far, the terrorists have succeeded in occupying about 16 local government in the North-east according to Nigeria’s Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar who is also a Presidential aspirant of the APC.