The Catholic Church in Nigeria has stated that former President Olusegun Obasajo’s letter to President Goodluck Jonathan is an attempt to subvert the 1999 Constitution, which permits the president, and any other political office holders to seek election for a second term if such a person is legally qualified.
In stating this, the Catholic Church said it was incumbent on Jonathan to respond to the weighty allegations contained in the open letter to him, written by the former Nigerian leader.
The Church made its position on the letter through a press release from the Caritas Nigeria and JDPC (Justice Development and Peace Commission) of the Catholic Secretariat of Nigeria, signed by its Executive Director, Rev. Evaristus Bassey.
It reads in part: “We view with deep concern the weighty allegations made against President Goodluck Jonathan by ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo.
“While calling on President Jonathan to clarify the issues raised, especially those bordering on the security of the land, we see parts of the letter as yet another attempt to wrestle authority from the Constitution and the People.
“Nigerian Constitution, as deficient as it is, remains the ground norm (and it) provides for the holder of an elective executive office to contest elections not more than twice for the same office if he or she had succeeded in the elections and held the said offices twice.
“The attempt by President Obasanjo to put personal assurances made by Goodluck Jonathan over and above what is stipulated in the Constitution is an attempt to downplay the sovereignty of the People.
“If President Goodluck Jonathan would not contest the 2015 elections, it should only be because of the interest of Nigerians, and if he freely decides not to seek the nomination of his party; not because of a power deal struck by a few individuals who carry themselves as Nigerian Landlords. This country belongs to us all.”
The church said the decision as to who rules Nigeria after 2015 general elections should be made by the electorate, so as to demonstrate faith in the nation’s democracy process.
“The above notwithstanding, we call on President Goodluck Jonathan once more to examine his capacity for this high office, especially in the midst of all the forces arraigned against him.
“He should freely decide whether to put himself forward for nomination by his party to contest the general elections subsequently.
“He should not allow himself to be pressured by self-serving individuals into either contesting or refusing to contest the elections. He should take a decision in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.”
Source: Daily Independent
Posted from Naija Gospel