President Goodluck Jonathan
•Monarch offers to broker peace in Rivers’ crisis
By Muhammad Bello
The Presidency Monday said Nigerians who continue to play politics with the issue of 2015 election were distracting President Goodluck Jonathan from his focus on the provision of dividends of democracy to the country.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, stated this Monday as a guest on a Raypower (radio) talk programme ‘Factfile’.
In an unrelated development, a Rivers State monarch, Her Royal Majesty Queen Akasoba Duke-Abiola, the Akasoba of Kalabari, has set machinery in motion to resolve the state’s political crisis.
According to Abati, the president is not dissipating his energy on the campaign for 2015 and has equally not stated whether or not he will seek re-election, pointing out that: “his position has been consistent and straight forward, and that the president has been saying ‘look let's focus on governance’.”
He said the belief of his principal was that if Nigerians have given him mandate “to deliver and move the country forward. That is what we want to focus on. And that was the statement about the mid-term report that was publicly presented.”
The president’s aide further said there was evidence that in two years the president had accomplished a lot. “So we must be able to make a distinction between politicking, the fact and reality. President Jonathan stands on the side of truth, fact and reality. So he wants to be engaged at the level of his performance,” Abati stressed.
The presidency, the aide said, would remain focus and continue to play his role as president and commander in chief of the armed forces and the premier political leader in the country.
Meanwhile, Akasoba, who is also the Chair of Akasoba Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ACPCR), has invited the president, Governor Rotimi Amaechi, some prominent stakeholders within the country and even global figures to a meeting at the ACPCR Centre, Kula, Ekulama, in the state (near the Atlantic ocean) on August 3.
A statement issued by the Secretary of the ACPCR, Dr. Jen Clarence, indicated that those invited to the parley are: ex-Nigerian Head of State, Dr. Yakubu Gowon, first President of Zambia Dr. Kenneth Kaunda, and former United Nations’ Secretary General Dr. Boutrous Boutrous Ghali.
Others are the Emir of Zazzau, His Eminence Alhaji Shehu Idris, the Alaafin of Oyo, His Royal Majesty Oba Lamidi Adeyemi , Air Marshal Ernest Adeleye, former Governor of old Rivers State, Mr. Mofia Akobo, former Minister of Petroleum Resources and all traditional rulers of the state.
Clarence said the peace meeting became necessary "in view of the seemingly intractable socio-political problems presently besieging our beloved state, and taking into consideration the need for reason and moderation at these trying times of our nascent democracy."