The presidency said it is not
worried by the registration of
Nigeria’s largest opposition
The Senior Special Assistant to
President Goodluck Jonathan
on Public Affairs, Doyin Okupe,
has said the newly registered
All Progressives Congress, APC,
may not last for long because
‘its foundation is wrong, its
combination is faulty and its
ideologies are not clearly
He said the registration of APC by the Independent
National Electoral Commission, INEC, underscored the
openness of the present administration.
Mr. Okupe made this remark when he spoke with
newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.
He stressed that the registration of the APC by INEC also
demonstrated ‘political liberalism of President Jonathan.
‘This would not have happened under many Africa
Presidents, especially when it is obvious that there were
obvious hurdles and obstacles to that registration”, Mr.
Such obstacles, he said, could have been exploited and
amplified and used by people of lesser integrity to frustrate
the registration of the party.
He held that the PDP-led Federal Government was not
afraid of the APC registration.
‘These are people that were beaten individually and
collectively before, we will defeat them randomly.
‘But we are glad that at least, instead of fighting three or
four parties, we can concentrate on one and get it done.
‘I can assure you that there is nobody in the Presidency
that is worried.
For us, it is a good thing, it is a great development. We will
see how far they can go.”
On speculations that some governors were planning to
leave the PDP for opposition parties, he said they cannot
afford to leave the party.
‘Yes our party may have its problems, faults and
inadequacies, but there is no alternative than to be inside.
There are more than enough reasons for people to leave,
but you know you don’t leave a winning platform
politically; it amounts to committing political suicide.
‘These are empty boasts and things that do not hold water.
None of these governors as you can see for yourself is
prepared to move.
‘What they are trying to do is to move around and ensure
that they are heard and have some of their demands met.
Nobody is going anywhere because PDP is still the real
party to beat”, Mr. Okupe said.
Asked if President Jonathan will re-contest the presidency
in 2015, Mr. Okupe said the president ‘has not decided and
has not told anybody.’
‘If the President decides to run for the presidency in 2015,
nobody can beat him.”
‘The calculations are in his favour, the odds are in his
favour, the national supports are in his favour, the
performance index is in his favour,’ he added.
He stressed that the only worry of the presidency for now,
was how to ensure it delivered democracy dividends to the
people and not 2015 presidential election.
‘This is not the time to campaign. Those who are doing so
are doing so because they have nothing to do, they are
professional political jobbers.
They are not serious minded people, and they have
nothing serious to do”, Mr. Okupe contended.
He said the PDP leadership was working round the clock to
have the court injunction restraining the party from holding
its forthcoming Special National Convention slated for Aug.
‘I was told that those who went to court had said that they
were no longer interested in the case, and so are
withdrawing their case.
‘So, the court injunction is not an issue anymore. The
convention is on course”, he added.
The presidency said it is not