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A senator alleged yesterday that President Goodluck Jonathan had been secretly plotting to avoid election and extend his tenure by two years on the grounds that Nigeria is at war.
Senator Babafemi Ojudu (APC, Ekiti Central) told members of the Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) that President Jonathan had been making spirited moves to court National Assembly members into approving his agenda for the two-year tenure elongation.
Ojudu made the revelation while addressing the ARG gathering inside the Trenchard Hall of the University of Ibadan with the theme “The change Yoruba will vote for.”
Also, a top political source yesterday in Abuja corroborated Senator Ojudu’s allegation, saying President Jonathan may shortly declare Nigeria to be in a state of war and seek extension of tenures of current elected public officials for another six months.
Senator Ojudu, in his submission, said: “If anybody thinks there is going to be elections on March 28, the person is deceiving himself. All the people that are close to me, especially my friends, I told them a year ago that there would not be election and that they are just deceiving us.
“Some of us who are perceptive have seen this in the body language of our colleagues; the body language of the Senate President himself, David Mark. When we came back from the summer recess last year, he said that for him, it’s not time for election. We should not be thinking of elections now, rather we should be thinking of fighting Boko Haram. The moment we took him up on that, he reversed himself.
“There are conscious attempts at lobbying some of us to work against having elections. Therefore, where they have got to now is the preliminary stage.
“We will resume next week Tuesday. I can assure you, they may likely bring a motion asking us to adjourn or postpone the elections for six months because there is an ongoing war.
“The constitution allows this. The constitution states that where and when there is a war in any corner of the country, the President can bring a motion to the National Assembly to postpone the elections for six months in the first instance and this can be passed by just a simple majority.
“If you think at this time they may not get simple majority, you may be wrong. This is because 80 per cent of the senators and House of Representatives members are not returning, not out of choice. Perhaps, I am the only person who is not returning out of choice in the entire National Assembly. All others attempted but they did not make it.
“This may surprise you, we are all broke. If they say we want to give you two more years as it is being quietly requested by Jonathan, virtually everybody will vote for that.”
He said Jonathan had been pleading that the National Assembly should allow him to continue for two more years because he feared that if the election holds and a northern Muslim wins, there may be problems in the Niger Delta.
He added that Jonathan also argued that if he wins there would be problem in the north.
“Therefore, the solution is for him to do two more years and at the end … you can have northern-northern and Muslim-Muslim candidates.
“That is their logic and that is what they are working towards. Left to us, they know it shall not pass. We must have to start crying out now and be strategic in our planning,” he said.
“We are about entering into a very long night in Nigeria. It is a very sad thing that whenever we thought we have made a progress, we take ten steps backward. This is what is happening now.”