NWABUEZE TO JONATHAN: DON’T RUN FOR SECOND TERM

Written by Isiaka Wakili

President Goodluck and Sambo on campaigne trail.

Constitutional lawyer and former Minister of Education Professor Ben Nwabueze has advised President Goodluck Jonathan not to seek a re-election in 2015.

 Nwabueze, who led a pressure group, The Patriots, to a meeting with the president yesterday, later told State House correspondents that Jonathan had better concentrate on national transformation rather than get involved in election campaigns.
He said Jonathan would undermine his authority to lead Nigeria for national transformation should he seek a fresh term in 2015.
 Nwabueze, who however affirmed the president’s eligibility to seek a re-election, said he would become an instant hero if he restricts himself to national transformation and abandon his perceived second term ambition.

“I still believe that the problem of this country is national transformation. You can’t combine national transformation with contesting election. The two are so different because once you get involved in election campaigns, you undermine your authority to lead the nation for national transformation, and I said if I were the president of Nigeria, I would restrict myself to serving the nation, transforming the country in creating a new Nigeria, in creating a new society,” he said.
Nwabueze explained taht his delegation told Jonathan that the only way to national transformation is through a national conference of all ethnic nationalities that would produce the needed people’s constitution whose source of authority derives directly from the people. 
In a memorandum presented to Jonathan, Nwabueze said the president’s transformation agenda ought to be expanded in scope to cover other aspects of economic affairs besides the enhancement of economic growth and development which it focuses on. 
“Nigeria is a wobbly state in part because it stands on a very weak foundation, which creates a necessity to transform it. The foundation of a polity or state, that is to say, its super-structure, is its constitution. A polity or state rests on a very weak foundation if the source of authority of its constitution, as the supreme law of the land, is not the people directly, acting in a cons-tituent assembly (or a national conference) and a referendum; that is what characterizes a constitution as a democratic one, otherwise called a Peoples’ Constitution”, he said. 
Responding, Jonathan said his adminis-tration had no objection to Nigerians coming together to discuss how they would continue to live together in peace and unity, adding that  ordinarily such an issue of should not be out of place.
According to him, there has been constant discussion within government on how to create an acceptable and workable platform for a national dialogue that will reinforce the ties that bind the country’s many ethnic nationalities and ensure that Nigeria’s immense diversity continues to be a source of strength and greatness.

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