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Saturday, 25 January 2014

EXPOSED: Governors Treat Jonathan Like Their Houseboy —Jeremiah Useni

The Chairman, Board of Trustees of Arewa Consultative Forum, and former FCT Minister, Jeremiah Useni in this chat with The Punch talks about political calculations of 2015 and President Jonathan's chances....

It’s been some time since we heard your voice in the political circuit. Why have you been quiet?
Unless there is something important, one doesn’t make noise. But I don’t have to make noise before you know I’m around. Yes, I only talk when there is an issue of concern to me, when there is something of general interest and when I think my voice may be of relevance.

Some Niger-Delta activists are threatening bloodshed if Jonathan is not allowed to contest in 2015. What is your take on this?
I agree with them on this. Jonathan has the right to contest to complete two terms in office. There is no reason why Jonathan should not contest in 2015. If Yar’Ardua were alive, he would be finishing his eight years now. The man (Jonathan) took part of it. I can only say these four years that he is about to finish will be really his own. So if you don’t want him to spend another four years to make eight years, you can say let him spend two-and-a-half years or so, of what remained of Yar’Adua’s tenure to make up his own eight years. Definitely, there is no reason why Jonathan should not go for it in 2015, unless people reject him. It is not that he is not qualified, he is over-qualified.

So, are you opposed to agitators who want power to return to the North?
I am from the North, I don’t agree with them. The calculation is wrong, the calculation is selfish.

How do you assess Jonathan’s government?
The only thing I would say is he (the President) should blow hot and cold. Too much of cold compared to hot is why this nonsense is going on. He should balance it. I think he is doing well. One tree cannot make a forest; he cannot run the Federal Government and also run the states. State governments are there to do their own bit, so also are local governments.

Looking beyond the crisis, as an elder statesman, do you think APC is a credible alternative for Nigerians? Can you recommend it as a better alternative to PDP?As it is now, they are next to PDP. When you are talking of credible alternative, all I know is that they are next to PDP. If PDP is not there, they are the next biggest party to PDP, full stop. Whether they are credible is a different thing altogether. I won’t like to say anything on that aspect because that would mean talking about the individuals that make up the party.

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