The appearance of campaign posters of President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 Presidential Election has been roundly condemned by Nigerians who have asked that the president to focus on the job of serving rather that re-election.
The campaign posters suddenly appeared in Abuja last weekend and Checks by Vanguard revealed that most of the posters in Asokoro and were visible displayed around Maitama, the AYA Junction, Gowon Crescent and around the People’s Democratic Party Secretariat.
Following report of the deployment of the posters, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President, Dr. Reuben Abati, denied that the posters emanated from The Presidency and that the President had not authorised anybody to print any campaign poster for him as regards the 2015 elections.
As at Wednesday, all the posters displayed around Abuja except those at the ruling party’s secretariat were still intact as the other ones have either been removed or defaced.
The umbrella body of Igbo socio-cultural organizations, Ohanaeze, said the posters had been deployed as part of a scheme to destabilise the polity.
Outgoing Secretary-General of Ohanaeze, Chief Nduka Eya, told said it would be difficult to believe that Jonathan had knowledge of the posters because “from what we know of the president’s character, he cannot do such a thing.
“Some evil minded people may be responsible for the printing of these posters which appeared on the streets of Abuja on the first day of year 2013 when Nigerians are still in festive mood. This is aimed at causing more crises and overheat a country that is already experiencing a lot of problems.
“2015 is still very far and it is absurd for anybody to start campaign for the presidency now. Jonathan had promised us that he would run for only one term of four years. If he decides not to keep his promise and decides to run for another term, then he must come out and say so, then Ndigbo will determine the next line of action, but that must be discussed,” he averred.
On its part, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) said it doubted if those who placed the posters did it with the consent of President Jonathan because “this is not time for politics but for governance.”
National Publicity Secretary, Anthony Sani said: “I am not aware of any posters of President Jonathan flooding the streets of Abuja. But I do not think such would be by the consent of the President, since he told the nation recently that he was yet to make up his mind as to whether to contest or not. More so that a case of whether he can stand for 2015 is still in court. I believe because this is not time for politics, but for governance, the Presidency should call those placing the posters to order.”
Also reacting to the issue, the Chairman of Benue State Conference of Nigeria Political Parties, CNPP, Engr. Baba Agan said the development was aimed at creating confusion and heat up the polity.
He also said that the brains behind the pasting of the posters were doing so in order to fly a kite that was doomed from the onset, adding, “Nigerians would not fall for it.”
On his part, the Bauchi State Chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) Aliyu Abubakar Saidu, said the posters were hasty and that President Jonathan should redeem the country from its predicaments before talking of elections.
Saidu contended that since the election of the president into office in 2011 the country has gone through very turbulent times, which need to be addressed.
Bishop of Calabar Diocese of the Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Tunde Adeleye said what Nigerians need now is not the posters of President Jonathan for the 2015 presidential election but posters on how to tackle sufferings in the country.
Opposing the move, Bishop Adeleye said: “That is very Nigerian. That is what we do. We major in minors and then divert attention from the problems of the people. It may be the work of some stooges who will want to divert attention from the hardship and poverty we are suffering from.”
According to Abati, those pasting the posters were trying to express their own view. The President, he said, had stated that he would talk about the Presidency from 2014, adding that those doing this do not have the consent of the president.
“What is most important now is for the president to deliver on his electioneering promises to Nigerians and not embark on the pasting of posters.
“It has not come from the president. Nigerians should take the president for his word and ignore any other information to the contrary,” Abati said.