I insist, Jonathan don’t contest –Nwabueze

Nwabueze, who led other members of The Patriots to submit their memorandum on Transforming the Nation through a National Conference,  to President Jonathan, said though he was eligible to contest, the president should not contest the 2015 election.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Prof. Nwabueze while emphasizing that this was his personal position and not that of The Patriots, also urged the president to convene a national conference before 2015.

Nwabueze, who said 2015 was not part of the discussion, told journalists that his position had not changed.

He said: “ That is not the purpose of our meeting today, but that is my view and I still maintain that view today. I still believe that the paramount problem of this country is national transformation, that you cannot combine national transformation with contesting election.

The two are so different, because once you get involved in election campaigns, you undermine your authority to lead the nation for national transformation and I said, if I were the president of Nigeria, I would restrict myself to serving the nation, in transforming this country, in creating a new Nigeria, in creating a new society, that 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 to 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 was what I said and I still stand by it. That is what I would do if I were the president of the country, but unfortunately, I’m not.”

On Jonathan’s eligibility to contest, he said: “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.”

On what the meeting focused on, Nwabueze said: “We talked about the transformation of this country. What we said is that this country, a situation in which we have found ourselves today, is in dire need of transformation. Its entire economy, the entire polity and the entire society would need to be transformed.

We believe that the way to achieve that objective is  through a national conference, a national conference of ethnic nationalities in this country. We have done our own research  and we are not perfect but our own review showed that we have in this country 389 ethnic nationalities.

We need to bring these nationalities around a conference table to discuss how we are going to live together as one country in peace, in stability, in security as one country with the aim of achieving national unity.”

On the position of the National Assembly that there is no  need for any national sovereign conference when there is an elected National Assembly in place, Nwabueze said: “This is what we want you to read in the memorandum paragraph 18 to 32 where we have discussed this matter.”


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