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Jonathan should quietly negotiate his exit – Nakande

The election has been shifted. What are your expectations for the presidential election in view of the shift? My expectation, despite the shift, is that…

The election has been shifted. What are your expectations for the presidential election in view of the shift?
My expectation, despite the shift, is that the APC and indeed General Muhammadu Buhari will lead at the first count of the presidential election. And our hope and expectation is that with the efforts everyone has put in this election, it will be conducted in a free and fair manner.  That is our expectation.
Does that mean that you don’t entertain any fear about the chances of your candidate?
We don’t entertain any fear whatsoever. Those who are afraid, of course, are the PDP and I expect that President Goodluck Jonathan will quietly negotiate his exit so that he can save himself and the PDP from a disgraceful exit at the polls.
But we have never seen a sitting president losing election in this part of the world.  What is it that gives you the confidence it can happen in Nigeria?
It has happened in Ghana where a sitting president lost election. That is about two, three years ago. In Asia recently, a sitting president who has been there for ten years, that is in Sri Lanka went for an early election two years to the end of his tenure. He lost woefully and I am happy that the international community and all concerned individuals are worried about how the outcomes of the elections in Nigeria will be if the PDP refuses to accept the fact that they have lost the elections.
There are many registered voters that are yet to collect their PVCs and it was partly on that premise that the INEC shifted the election, don’t you think the poll shift is justified by that fact?
The NSA’s position is highly misplaced in the sense that he is looking for an ideal and perfect situation. Remember that this registration for Voters happened long ago and within that particular period of time, people have died, others are sick while some have changed locations as a result of various reasons,  not necessarily the insurgency. Some have grown so old to even bother about this election. There is also disenchantment, especially because of the threats. So with all of these put together you will not have a perfect situation such that if you have 100 registered voters, all the 100 may not be around to collect their voters’ cards. I believe that INEC has a threshold that is acceptable in terms of percentages of people that will participate in the voting. The council of state backed INEC at that time that the elections should be conducted as planned.  
What about the security situation in the country? Is that not a good reason to shift the polls?
I think the security is sufficient to conduct elections.  Security is not about the number of police, army and all other security agencies. It is about sensitising the generality of Nigerians about the implications of creating an atmosphere of insecurity and so far, especially for this election,  the media houses,  all well-meaning religious and community leaders and other stakeholders have all been drumming into our ears the need to have a secured free and fair elections for the sake of the country and for the oneness of Nigeria. We believe that Nigerians will surprise the world by having peaceful elections. We are confident that the APC will lead in this elections, especially the presidential election.
What about the National Assembly and other elections, do you have the same level of confidence?
It will happen both ways even though there may be one or two exceptions because of peculiarities in some states and constituencies. We believe that this desire for change is all encompassing. Therefore we will see the president having most of his members of the National Assembly so that he will be able to come up with policies that will really transform the country.
Let’s go to Plateau State. What is happening there?
This wind of change on the Plateau is as a result of the fallout from the mismanagement of the economy and bad governance of the PDP as a whole. In particular in Plateau State there have been all manner of crises that resulted in loss of lives and properties for the last seven-and-half years under the PDP. Secondly, a major concern for the people of the state is the need to have an inclusive government, that is why this change will sweep the government because of the impunity of the PDP. So I am sure the entire communities in Plateau have made up their minds that at the end of the PDP, irrespective of political platforms, change must happen on the Plateau and that is why there is a shift from the Northern zone to the Southern zone for the governorship of the state. So I am confident, given the democratic manner in which the APC brought out their flag bearer, Hon. Simon Lalong will carry the day.
You contested for the ticket of the House of Representatives for Jos North/ Bassa constituency and you have gone to court on that matter. Your opponents say your action may slow down the APC since it will give the impression that there is crisis within the party?
I have already gone to court and I think making any further comment will be subjudice, but however in a democratic dispensation I think seeking an arbiter like the court has a two pronged advantage. It ensures that justice is done, even if the court says I am not the candidate. Secondly, it helps the political party itself in strengthening the internal mechanism of the party, using the decision of the court, and the party will be better for it.
What will be your reaction if President Jonathan is returned as the winner of the presidential election?
I have never contemplated that in my mind.  I don’t see any way that the PDP will win this presidential election.  They would have won the previous one because of the impunity with which the elections were conducted. This time around, with the measures put in place by INEC and the support of the international community, the era in which people will sit down and elections will be rigged with that level of disdain is over. There is going to be a free and fair election. I am confident giving that scenario, there is no way PDP will make it.  APC will carry the day.

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