Alhaji Aminu Jahun
Jigawa State Vice Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP), Alhaji Aminu Jahun, spoke to Ibrahim Shuaibu on President Goodluck Jonathan's ambition in 2015; the onshore/offshore dichotomy and others sundry issues. Excerpts:
How would you assess President Jonathan’s style of leadership?
From all indications, President Jonathan is the type of person who exemplifie what democracy is all about. He has been a level-headed person whose democratic ingenuity prevails on the polity, thus, giving good example of how a leader should be. He is really a democrat.
Does your statement imply that you will support him for second term, if he so decides to run?
Well, if he is not already in his second term, I can even campaign for him because we all belong to the same party.
Which of the parties?
People Democratic Party
Why do you think he is running his second term?
Because the constitution says no president or governor shall be sworn into office more than two times.
What if the elections are not held consecutively?
Even though the first oath he took appeared not to be by virtue of election, but on the other hand, it could be on the basis of the election victory he and the late Yar’Adua, whose death made him took over and an oath was administered thereby making him two time oath taker.
Is that your personal opinion or that is a legal interpretation of the situation?
Yes of course, I can therefore appeal to President Jonathan not to re-contest rather he should leave the stage when the ovation is loud enough.
President Jonathan is seen as doing his best as such there is the expectation for continuity, how can you rate or weigh his performance?
Fair enough, no leader would be seen to be 100 percent perfect.
Who do you think should succeed him if he decides not to re-contest?
Let anybody succeed him as long as such a person is qualified
Even from the opposition parties?
No, I mean the successor must come from our party, the PDP.
Are you supporting Governor Lamido to succeed Jonathan as already being speculated?
Not necessarily him, but let the president leave the stage for others and the successor could come from any zone of the country even as the north has taken a stand on producing the next president that is my contention. And if it will be Lamido, he is qualified, considering how he is developing Jigawa very fast and in addition to the experience he had gained over the years.
Let’s talk about the issue of offshore-onshore oil dichotomy, what are your views?
I support those calling for a revisit of the issue. There must be sympathy to the environmental degradation in those areas producing oil and that is why certain percentage is being given to them on the one hand; there is however the need to revisit the issue of oil found in the ocean. The offshore is supposed to be for the entire citizenry for the sake of equity.
Don’t you think that has become a foregone conclusion as it has since been passed into law by the nation’s fifth National Assembly?
Were they not human beings that constituted the National Assembly and erroneously blind folded themselves to the dastardly and consequential implications that are now telling hard, particularly on the northern part of the country? And if it was so then, the present National Assembly can rectify the grave mistake in making of the offshore beneficial to all Nigerians.
Can the North record significant progress in the face of security challenge?
Development is immaterial once there is no peace. I will advise that there should be dialogue with the Boko Haram to bring to an end the bombings and killings rather than the government toying with the lives of the people. Was it not the same government that held talks with the Niger Delta militants that brought an end to their attacks? Why not so with the Boko Haram?
The claim was that the sect members were faceless so with whom do you expect the dialogue to hold?
They could be faceless, but with the intelligence wizardry of government, these so–called faceless militants could be fished out even if not all of them and at once it could be one after the other. This is so because even the president was ever quoted as saying the sect has three wings, involving the original members, politicians and those in government. Invariably, the president would be seen to know who the sect members are probably by the report before him.