The New Peoples Democratic Party said on Monday that President Goodluck Jonathan did not tell the truth when he claimed on Sunday evening that he never told anyone that he would not contest in 2015.
Rather, the faction of the ruling party insisted that the President promised in February 2011 not to contest after one term.
Jonathan had during a media chat said, “There was no agreement with anybody that I will serve for only one term. If I had signed any agreement with anybody, they would have shown you the agreement.
“I did not say that I will not contest in 2015. In Addis Ababa, that was when I advocated single term of seven years. My argument was that to be more productive, maybe we should consider single term of seven years.
“I said if Nigerians agree to that, I may not be involved. I did not say I will contest or not. Those who said I have signed an agreement, they should show the agreement.”
But the New PDP, insisted on Monday that Jonathan had in 2011 promised not to contest in 2015.
The National Publicity Secretary of the New PDP, Chief Chukwuemeka Eze, in a telephone interview with our correspondent, said, “In February, 2011, while interacting with Nigerians and diplomats working in the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the African Union in Ankara, Turkey, the President said that he would have loved that the Nigerians in Diaspora voted during the election that year, but added that that would be very difficult.
“Presently, the law does not allow voting outside Nigeria and so this year Nigerians in Diaspora will not vote but I will work towards it by 2015 even though I will not be running for election.”
Eze also said the President went ahead to say that four years was enough for anyone in power to make significant improvement and that if he couldn’t improve on power within this period, it then means he would not do anything even if he was there for another four years.
He said that at the appropriate time, members of the New PDP would expose the President, adding that with his statement on Sunday, it would be more difficult for Nigerians to believe him.
The New PDP spokesman added, “Why would our President deny the statement he made in a broad-day light, even in the presence of international media?
“Why, because of ambition, would our President deny the words that came out of his mouth and statements he made not under duress? Truly, the President is desperate and with this; he has shown that he cannot be trusted.”
Eze said that at the appropriate time, Nigerians would get a copy of the communiqué of the PDP governors meeting, which he said was attended by 20 governors in December 2010.
The meeting, he added, was a prelude to the meeting of the National Executive Committee meeting that approved the guidelines for the 2011 elections, including the presidential primaries.
He said that it was at the meeting convened by the then National Chairman of the party, Dr. Okweliseze Nwodo, that an agreement was reached that Jonathan would be in office for just four years.
A copy of the agreement reached at the meeting was said to be with one of the governors of the South-South supporting the President.
Meanwhile, a former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has criticised the silence of the government over the rumour that some members of the Peoples Democratic Party were being picked and detained for no identifiable crime against the country or anybody.
In a statement by his media office in Abuja, Abubakar said the PDP crisis was an internal family disagreement, which should not give anybody the right to arrest those who express dissenting voice.
According to him, “criminalising legitimate dissent over internal disagreements could lead Nigeria to a police state and thereby, defeat all the basic features of the democratic system.”