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2015: Lamido Drops Ambition, PDP Endorses Jonathan as Sole Candidate

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IMAGE: Sule Lamido, Governor of Jigawa State »


After months of preparation to launch his bid for the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido, has finally dropped his ambition and joined other governors of the party to endorse President Goodluck Jonathan as the sole presidential candidate of the PDP to contest the 2015 election.

Lamido, who was singled out yesterday at the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the party and gave Jonathan the thumbs up sign, did not dissent in the adoption of Jonathan as the candidate of the party.

The NEC meeting of the PDP essentially turned out to be a ratification of earlier meetings, as all the organs of the party starting from the National Caucus, Board of Trustees (BoT) to the PDP Governors’ Forum had all adopted Jonathan as their candidate.

Also, an over joyous Jonathan, in what could be deemed his first formal declaration to contest the 2015 presidential election, described his adoption as the sole presidential candidate as an “atomic bomb”, stating that he was humbled and overwhelmed by the unanimous endorsement.

The NEC meeting kicked off at 12.30 pm when the president arrived, following which the Niger State Governor, Babangida Aliyu, presented the resolution of the PDP governors.

Aliyu told the meeting that the decision of the governors in adopting Jonathan as the sole presidential candidate of the party was unanimous as there was no opposition.

To support his claim that there was no dissenting voice, Aliyu introduced Lamido who in turn stood up to acknowledge the statement and received a standing ovation from other members of the NEC.

Also, speaking on behalf of the BoT, the former Deputy National Chairman of PDP and a member of NEC, Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun, informed NEC of the decision by the trustees of the party to adopt Jonathan.

According to Oyedokun, the party’s BoT decided to adopt Jonathan because he had stabilised the party and also performed creditably by taking Nigeria to the next level, hence “the BoT unanimously agreed to adopt President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the PDP sole presidential candidate for the 2015 presidential election”.

In the same manner, Senate President David Mark, who spoke for the PDP National Assembly Caucus, said: “We in the National Assembly believe in continuity, we preach continuity, we preach it and believe in it. We have unanimously agreed to adopt President Goodluck Jonathan as the sole presidential candidate. The House of Representatives had done this earlier before the Senate, but what is happening now is good news.”

Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Gambia, Justina Eze, who spoke on behalf of the PDP women, also said they had unanimously adopted the president.

The highpoint of the NEC meeting was a motion moved by the former Minister of Defence and former acting National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Harilu Mohammed Bello, who moved a motion for the formal adoption of Jonathan as the sole presidential candidate of the party.

His motion was supported by the former governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo, who said there was no need to change a winning team.

The motion was put to the NEC in session by the party’s National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, and it was unanimously adopted.

Mu’azu said the National Convention of the party slated for December 6 is expected to ratify his appointment as the national chairman.

He added that the convention would ratify the appointment of the national secretary and national auditor of the party, as well as amend the constitution of the party.

Mu’azu further said PDP would host a national fund raising dinner in Abuja on October 15 for the purpose of raising funds for the party’s electioneering.

In his acceptance speech, Jonathan, who described his adoption by the PDP governors as an atomic bomb, said he was humbled and overwhelmed.

According to him, “Let me commend our party elders, BoT members and PDP governors for adopting me as the sole candidate of the party for the 2015 election.

“I am totally overwhelmed that I lack words to express myself; let me quickly thank our governors who initiated that action. I also thank members of NEC, for without them, no matter what anybody does, you are on your own. For NEC also to endorse that decision, I am really most grateful.

“I will only promise members of NEC and all members of the party, and like the saying goes: to whom much is given, much is expected.

“For you to have that kind of confidence in me is a big challenge. That means that God willing, we will go through and whatever we have achieved, we will get it three-fold.”

The president promised not to disappoint the confidence reposed in him by the party, but added that the security situation in the country was its greatest challenge.

He said: “Terrorism is a global problem and Nigeria is having its fair share of this problem and the Nigerian situation is going beyond terrorism, because when terrorists attempt to install a leadership, it is no longer terrorism it is tantamount to session which no country will accept.”

He stressed that the federal government was doing everything possible to bring the situation under control.

“We are working very hard, we are rebuilding our infrastructure in terms of security infrastructure and God willing between now and the middle of October, things would have changed drastically,” he said.
Jonathan sent his condolences to the family of those who died during the suicide bomb blasts at the Federal College of Education in Kano on Wednesday as well as the Kaduna communal attacks.

He also thanked Nigerians for joining efforts with the federal government to fight the Ebola virus in the country.

The NEC meeting was attended by the governors of Enugu, Benue, Delta, Abia, Niger, Akwa Ibom and Kogi, among others, as well as the acting governors of Taraba and Adamawa States.

Others in attendance included the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha, former national chairmen of the party – Amadu Ali and Barnabas Gemade – former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na'Abba, and several members of the National Assembly.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, who is expected to defect to the opposition All Progressive Congress (APC), was as usual absent.

Also speaking on the adoption of the president, former Information Minister, Prof. Jerry Gana, who briefed State House correspondents on behalf of the BoT of the party, said the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, had briefed the BoT on the endorsement of Jonathan as the sole candidate of the party by the forum.

The former information minister said Akpabio told the meeting that the PDP governors had agreed that none of them would contest for the presidential ticket of the party at the primary.
“Hence, BoT was informed yesterday (Wednesday) about this and that decision by the governors was fully endorsed in a motion by the BoT on its own.

“Having received that news, the BoT also unanimously resolved that because of the excellent work which Mr. President has done, it also unanimously resolved that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan should be the sole candidate of the party in the forthcoming election,” he said.

On whether internal democracy had not been compromised, Ekweremadu, who was also at the briefing, said: “The name of our party is the Peoples Democratic Party. So democracy is part of what we are and we are very conscious of the need to have internal democracy in our party.

“But you must remember that consensus building is also part of democracy. For us in the PDP, we believe that the BoT is the conscience of the party.

“So if the BoT has agreed to endorse Mr. President as the candidate of the party, what we are simply saying is that we are persuading every member of the party to accept that position. We are not going to force any person, but we are making a strong statement, we are persuading our people strongly to accept this position for the reasons earlier mentioned.

“We are borrowing from other democracies, including the United States of America where a sitting president who has done so well is expected to be rewarded by his party with a return ticket.
“So we are building a tradition which we hope that those who will come after us will be able to imbibe. This is also within the tenets of democracy, not only in Nigeria but in other parts of the world.”

Article Credit: Thisdaylive

Updated 4 Years ago

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Tags:     PDP     President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan     Sule Lamido     NEC     BoT     Senator Jim Nwobodo     Babangida Aliyu     Alhaji Shuaibu Oyedokun     Justina Eze