LAGOS (AA) – Nigeria’s opposition All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) has adopted President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term, a step that is very significant because of the ethnic appeals of the party.
“APGA as a party has authorized the formation of support group for reelection of President Jonathan in 2015,” the party’s chairman Victor Umeh told a mega rally in southeastern Awka town Saturday evening.
“The group would mobilize Igbo people throughout the country to vote for Jonathan in 2015 presidential election.”
APGA controls only southeastern Anambra state where it has a governor but has a couple of state and federal legislators elected from most of the five southeastern states inhabited by the Igbo, Nigeria’s third most populous tribe.
Most Igbo, home and abroad, see APGA as representing their ethnic aspirations partly because of its late founder Odumegwu Ojukwu, who led the Igbo secessionist drive against Nigeria in the 30-month civil war of 1967.
Umeh said the APGA is backing the president because of his commitment to democracy, credible poll and his “humility.”
“Democracy has come to stay with the president,” he said. “We need to reelect him for another four years.
“President Jonathan is committed to conduct of credible, free and fair election in the country,” said the party chairman.
“The president is humble and remain calm despite provocation by detractors,” he added.
APGA’s sole governor Willie Obiano also backed the president for reelection.
“We are supporting President Jonathan in recognition of his transformation agenda for the country,” he told the rally.
Although President Jonathan has not declared intention to run for another term, many believe he plans to do so.
Party primaries for the 2015 general elections would not begin until early October.
But the different rallies being held in president’s honor are believed to herald his own official declaration – akin to him answering a national call to seek reelection.
Jonathan, a leader of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party, will face a candidate from the mega opposition All Progressive Congress, if he eventually decides to run.
The opposition has scored the president low on security and governance.
Boko Haram insurgency, especially the kidnap of over 200 school girls in northeast Borno state and the government’s failure to rescue them for more than 130 days, will be a big issue in the election.
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