A former Minister of Transportation, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has backed Jonathan’s 2015 bid, asking the North to wait until 2019 for their turn.
Also, a former governor of the old Anambra State, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, has said President Jonathan is a tool in the hands of God to implement God’s designs for Nigeria.
He said Jonathan’s tolerance, cool-headedness, fear of God and respect for people and their constitution had neutralised Boko Haram violence in Nigeria.
The duo spoke during the state’s 17th anniversary public lecture organised by the Bayelsa State Government in Yenagoa on Monday.
Other dignitaries at the lecture which took place at the state’s Banquet Hall on Monday evening were a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Ghali Na’Abba; Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State; his deputy, Rear- Admiral John Jonah (retd.); elder statesman, Chief Diete Spiff; Speaker, Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Konbowei Friday; and the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Kate Abiri.
Babatope in his lecture, had described Jonathan as a detribalised Nigerian, whose right to contest the 2015 presidential election was non-negotiable.
“If Jonathan declares to contest the 2015 election, I will be among the people that will campaign for him. I submit it is right and proper that the Ijaw man, President Goodluck Jonathan, completes his term in 2019. After that, if I am still alive, I will be one of those that will fight to ensure the North have its turn in 2019,” Babatope said.
Ezeife said through Jonathan’s style of leadership, which could not be compared with any President before him, had been able to contain the Boko Haram’s insurgency.
The former governor said, “Jonathan is a tool in the hands of God to implement God’s design for Nigeria. His tolerance, cool-headedness, fear of God and respect for people and their constitution has neutralised the Boko Haram sect. We must sympathise with the aggrieved people, even as we must not allow injustice to take root. And we must not be provoked as to endanger, Nigeria, which our God Almighty has given us. Everybody knows who would lose most, should the unthinkable happen.
“Which President had faced determined efforts to making the country ungovernable, under him? If we help put a bag of salt on somebody’s head and make rains to beat the person, do we have a right, at the end of the rain, to ask how much salt is left in the bag?”
Ezeife also said for Nigeria to survive as one united country, there was the urgent need to restructure the country for efficiency and effectiveness.
Dickson, in his remarks, said a new Nigeria was born with the election of Jonathan, a man from the minority tribe, as the President of the country.
He sued for peace in the country, stressing that Nigeria was not only a country of contradictions, but had endless potential, which if well harnessed, would drive the nation’s socio-economic and political development.
“May I call on the present generation to learn to see national issues as they are. Because it is when you have a nation, you can have a G7 governors. Disagreement is healthy – whether we agree or not, it is legitimate. All politicians are ambitious and ambition is legitimate but the way you go about it matters,” Dickson said.
Na’Abba, speaking on the theme, ‘Good governance as a panacea for promoting a stable and sustainable democracy,’ said good governance should be the hallmark of democracy.
He said in view of the myriad of problems confronting the nation, there was the need to guarantee good governance and deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.