Stop 2015 campaigns, Jonathan tells PDP members, ministers

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday warned members of the Peoples Democratic Party and his cabinet to stop campaigning ahead of the 2015 elections.

The President warned at the National Executive Committee meeting of the party in Abuja that he would sack any member of his cabinet found wanting.

Those in attendance at the meeting included Vice-President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark and a former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

It is believed that these trio have presidential ambitions and may have started jostling for the most coveted office in the country.

But Jonathan called on members of the party to allow those elected to offices work.

He said, “Let me also plead that those who are interested in the general elections in 2015 should follow the rules. I have noticed that some people have just started some meetings, it is too early to hold meetings.

“The electoral laws and the constitution speak on this. INEC normally declares it open.

“The idea is that people who were elected to offices as governors and President (are) being given sometimes to work.

“In a situation whereby a governor has not even stayed for a year, the President has not stayed for a year, you start harassing people for 2015 is (another) way of saying everything is election.

“There must be time to (for) work at the federal level if you are holding a political office and I notice that you are involved in meetings for 2015 election, I will ask you to leave and go and hold your meetings, because that meeting is too early.”

Jonathan added, “I always insist that until the party fires people, irrespective of their status in the society for whatever offices they are holding, if the party doesn’t have the courage to discipline members, then of course, some people will begin to behave as if they contested elections as independent candidates.”

Meanwhile, it has been revealed why the party was unable to go ahead with its plan to amend its constitution as stipulated in the agenda sent to members of the NEC for the meeting.

Our correspondent learnt that the governors, who were disappointed with the plan to include some members of the National Assembly as NEC members without making them members of the National Caucus, met in Abuja on Sunday to deliberate on the issue.

At the meeting at the Rivers State Governors Lodge, the governors were said to have decided to send a representative to Jonathan on the need to have a wider consultation on the matter before amending the party’s constitution.

A governor said after the meeting that the governors were ready for a showdown with their fellow NEC members on the issue.

But at a meeting held with the President and the Acting National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Kawu Baraje, it was learnt that the issue of the constitution review was agreed to be postponed till a later date.

However, the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Prof. Rufai Alkali, said the party was still consulting on the matter.

He said another NEC meeting had been scheduled for February 29 to resolve all issues.

Alkali said the NEC had, however, approved dates for the commencement of the party’s congresses, which he said would start with a ward congress on March 3, and end on March 24 with the national convention in Abuja.

He said the meeting also agreed a slight extension of tenure for members of the party’s National Working Committee to terminate at the end of March instead of March 8.

Alkali also said the NWC would soon constitute the National Convention and Congresses Planning Committees to oversee the conduct of the congresses and the national convention as directed by the NEC.

Punch Nigeria

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