President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said a single term was too small for a leader to make an impact in a country.
His Excellency who disclosed this on Sunday during a presidential media chat in Abuja, affirmed that it was too early for him to declare his intention for 2015 presidential election.
Hear him :“You are asking whether I will contest in 2015. It is too early to ask a sitting president whether he will re-contest. If a president says I am contesting, it will generate tension. If I said I am not, it will generate tension.
If I say I am not contesting, some of my cabinet members may even resign. All of them are qualified to contest the position. Four years is small for a person to make an impact. Before you ask if the president will contest, wait until 2014”.
On the issue of fuel subsidy, Jonathan denied ever saying that the palliative would be removed next year.
On the total removal of fuel subsidy, Jonathan said it is provided for in the 2013 budget, noting that why should he put it in the budget in the first place if he had plan to remove it.
He said that the issue came up when a group of students from National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru presented a research work to him. “In the research work, Canada was said to have 16 refineries while Nigeria has only four.
I then asked my Economic Adviser to find out who owns the refineries in Canada and he said they are privately-owned,” the President stated, lamenting that “we also issued licences to private people to build refineries, but they are not building.”
And to reach the level of Canada, Jonathan insisted, “then, a policy which operates in Canada should be adopted here in Nigeria,” enthusing, if that policy is in operation in the country and the private sector also build refineries, the issue of subsidy would be resolved.”
“When we conclude the process to sanitize the oil sector, the issue of queues in filling stations will be put behind us.”
The president explained that there is no need for a Sovereign National Conference (SNC) beyond what the National Assembly is currently doing, His words “the feelings of Nigerians are that this Constitution was written by the military and that it is not the Nigerians’ Constitution and they are clamouring for Nigerians to write a Constitution for themselves.”
He said, “where individual groups, social groups, religious groups, socio-cultural groups, ethnic groups, youth groups or all other interest groups, would have an opportunity to have input in the process.”
“The issue of Sovereign National Conference (SNC), when you mention the word, sovereign, people get frightened. But if there is anything I believe as President, I swore to an oath to defend the Constitution, that whatever we do, we should keep in line with the Constitution.
Anything that Nigerians have, they can communicate to the National Assembly. But if today we jettison the position of the Constitution, we will run into another anarchy.”
He said out that it is not in the interest of the country’s democracy for the PDP or any other political parties to control the entire states in the country. ‘PDP is doing wonderfully well. In any country where you have presidential system and you practise true democracy, you don’t expect the ruling party to win all the states.
The ruling party will not win all the states. It will be dangerous for the country if the PDP for example, controls all the states. “In Edo and Ondo states, you mentioned we contested against incumbents. If you contest against an incumbent governor, everyday he is campaigning because his activities speak for him.
We believe that in the next election, the PDP family will come together and win the state. We will win naturally’, he added.