Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Prof. Ben Nwabueze, has stated that President Goodluck Jonathan must bury the urge to seek reelection in 2015 and concentrate on his transformation agenda, as that would make him an instant hero.
Nwabueze, spoke to State House correspondents, after The Patriots, a group of eminent Nigerians, on Thursday met with President Goodluck Jonathan on the state of the nation in the President’s office in Abuja, where the group was said to have presented A 13-page memorandum covering issues such as the need for a people’s constitution, the expansion of the agenda for national transformation to include economic emancipation as well as good governance, to the President.
Nwabueze, who took over the leadership of the group from the first Nigerian SAN, the late Chief Rotimi Williams, told State House correspondents that it was impractical for the President to combine efforts aimed at national transformation with vying for future elections.
His words: “That is not the purpose of our meeting today (Thursday), but that is my view and I still maintain that view. I still believe that the problem of this country is national transformation; hat you cannot combine national transformation with contesting election.
“The two are so different because once you get involved in electioneering, you undermine your authority to lead the nation for national transformation and I said if I were the President, I would restrict myself to serving the nation, transforming this country and creating a new Nigeria. These would be my concern and I would go down in history as a hero.
“So, if Mr. President does that, he would become an instant hero in this country; but it is for him to choose. If I were him, I would choose to become a hero to lead the country into transformation and abandon the ambition of a second term. That is what I said and I still stand by it and that is what I would do if I were the President of this country, but unfortunately, I’m not.”
He also commented on Jonathan’s eligibility to participate in the election, saying, “That is not an issue. Mr. President is eligible, nobody is questioning his eligibility, the President is eligible. What makes him ineligible? Nothing, he is eligible, that is a personal decision for him to take.”
Nwabueze, who said members of the group met with the President on the nation’s need for transformation, said the group also told Jonathan that his transformation agenda could only be achieved through a national conference of about 389 ethnic nationalities in the country.
The Patriots delegation included Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Chief Solomon Asemota, Chief Chris Okoye, Chief Bola Kuforiji-Olubi, Air Commodore Dan Suleiman (rtd.), Prof. Kimse Okoko and Mr. Michael Orobator.