Plans by President Goodluck Jonathan to secure a second term mandate in 2015 will in the next few weeks begin to take concrete shape. So far, the ambition has been in the realm of speculations, with various groups and individuals engaged in a gritty battle, for and against the speculation.
But in a strategic bid to step ahead of the opposition, nascent groups and individuals charged with the second term ambition task will for the first time hold a formal meeting in the third or last week of the last quarter of the year (September), to among other issues,
fashion out a comprehensive blueprint to enhance the goals of the campaign.
The formal meeting will also provide a basis for the observed existing rough edges, empanel interim committees that will in the meantime operate clandestinely, envision a broad electoral perspective, draw up a wide spectrum of possible campaign issues and challenges, that will form the fulcrum of the message, as well as set up a standing think-tank, that will form the baseline.
According to Sunday Sun source, the meeting will also review the 2011 election campaign project of the president, together with the ongoing pressures of governance, and the staccato campaigns for re-election by some of the president’s henchmen, as well as reactions from members of the public and the opposition.
The formal meeting is being planned outside the auspices of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, though being co-ordinated by a leader in the party, whose aide pleaded his anonymity.
“We are making new moves to take the bull by the horns. Initially, we were waiting for the opposition to make the first move, so that when we know their standard bearers and programmes, we will then come out and face them. But it seems their problems are dragging on indefinitely, and every second counts now. We can’t afford to lose ground by waiting endlessly for them to put their acts together.
Based on our constitution and the convention all over the world on second or multiple tenures, the president is always the one to be challenged, since his bid for re-election is always a foreclosed issue. There is a compelling need to switch into a new gear as the second quarter of this year runs out. We are the pace-setters” the source confided in Sunday Sun.
Asked when the coast would be clear for the president to formally declare his intention to re-contest for the office, the source declined, insisting that the new development will chart the way forward.
Aside the aforementioned reasons adduced for fast tracking the declaration plans, Sunday Sun investigations indicate that Jonathan’s supporters have been positively exhilarated by the recent World Bank report that gave a thumbs up to the Nigerian economy. The report which was released last weekend described the economy in superlative terms of “strong and healthy” and predicted that it will remain stable next year, and come out “stronger in 2015”. Since the result was released, the Presidency has been inundated with sundry pressures to latch on to it and endear the government to the hearts of the people, and enhance the goals of the re-election project.
An elated Jonathan was said to be favorably disposed to the proposals. This is coming on the heels of the historic launch of the second Niger Bridge, and the immensely popular flag-off of the construction of the eight–carriageway Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by two multi-national firms – Messrs Julius Berger and C. Reynolds..