2015: Jonathan ratified as PDP presidential candidate, retains Sambo as running mate

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NEWS EXPRESS

2015: Jonathan ratified as PDP presidential candidate, retains Sambo as running mate

By News Express on 11/12/2014

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), early this morning confirmed President Goodluck Jonathan as its presidential candidate in the 2015 election.

The president secured the votes of all delegates who gathered at the Eagle Square, Abuja, at the party’s national convention.

Jonathan wasted no time in announcing Vice President Namadi Sambo as his running mate, as a reward for his loyalty in the first tenure of the administration.

According to the result read by a member of the PDP electoral committee, Chief Tom Ikimi, the president got a total vote of 2,812

State tally of the result indicated that he polled as follows:

Anambra 59, Abia 55, Bayelsa 65, Adamawa 104, Jigawa 109, Ebonyi 83, Ekiti 49, Cross River 87, Kaduna 90, Osun 63, Oyo 91, Delta 120, Taraba 90, Benue 99, Katsina 119, Edo 51, Ogun 55, Gombe 74, Kano 104, Nasarrawa 55, Imo 107, Kebbi 83, Niger 92, Enugu 94, Yobe 20, Sokoto 59, Kwara 40, Kogi 81, Zamfara 51, Rivers 69, Ondo 78, Plateau 68, Lagos 47, Borno 47, Bauchi 87, Akwa Ibom 138 and FCT 27.

Declaring Jonathan the elected party candidate, chairman of the election committee, Senator Ken Nnamani, said he was elected, having scored in excess of two thirds votes.

In his acceptance speech, the president noted that the country had witnessed a lot of positive change in the last years, in spite of the numerous challenges.

He said the PDP was more attuned to the yearning of the people, even as he urged Nigerians to stand together for the unity of the country.

He promised that he would used his second term in office to consolidate on the visible gains already achieved and guarantee the future of the country.

Jonathan admonished Nigerians that in the coming election, the choice was whether to go back to the past or move into the future.

While accepting the nomination, he urged Nigerians to support him, saying that he would not let them down.

He promised to give his all to ensure that the living standard of Nigerians improved.

Jonathan said that his nomination as the PDP presidential candidate exemplified the party’s determination to ensure that democracy in Nigeria yielded the desired benefits to Nigerians.

He urged political parties in the country to rise above all impediments to project the country to a higher level.

He assured all PDP members that all complaints and grievances within the party would be amicably resolved.

According to him, the country’s fight against corruption was on course and would be won.

He said the government would ensure that no child lacked basic needs and that no woman died from child birth.

The president said the observance of human rights was the cornerstone of his administration, adding that no Nigerian would be persecuted for holding a contrary view.

He enjoined the opposition to be honest in its campaigns and should be devoid of propaganda and half truth.

The party, also during the convention, endorsed Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu as the national chairman.

Mu’azu, having polled more than two-thirds of the total votes required, was endorsed by the delegates at the national convention held at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

President Jonathan, accompanied by the First Lady, Patience and Vice President Sambo, led the process by casting their votes.

Senate President, David Mark, Governors Goodswill Akpabio of Bayelsa, Ramalan Yero of Kaduna, amongst other dignitaries, voted alongside the president.

Delegates were mandated to cast their votes at various poling units for their states at the venue of the convention.

Chairman of the convention planning committee, Alhaji Haliru Bello, had, in a welcome address, declared that the exercise was meant to properly elect Mu’azu and three other members of the PDP NWC.

Others are the national secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo and the national auditor, Mr Wole Adeyanju.

According to him, the convention would proceed to elect the party’s presidential candidate today.

Before the commencement of the ratification of PDP national chairman by delegates, the party leaders left the state box to felicitate with their delegates at their various stands.

President Jonathan’s movement to the Bayelsa stand was thrilling and dramatic.

Accompanied by Mua’zu, President Jonathan was received at the stand by Governor Seriake Dickson and other key party men in the state, amidst songs of victory by Bayelsa women.

Vice President Sambo also moved to his Kaduna stand to felicitate with the people of the state amidst song and cheers by delegates from the state, led by Governor Yero.

Feuding gubernatorial aspirants in some of the states appeared to have forged a common front, as the party kicked off its national convention.

Adamawa State governor, James Ngilari, who along with his supporters had rejected the outcome of the state gubernatorial primaries conducted in Abuja, which produced former chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, as the candidate, attended the convention along with other prominent members of the party in the state, after he had threatened a boycott.

Ngilari sat at the head of Adamawa State delegates, which included Ribadu and other aspirants, including Brigadier-General Buba Marwa and Dr Ahmed Gulak.

The governor and Ribadu were later seen walking together to meet President Jonathan inside the State Box.

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and the state PDP gubernatorial candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, also sat together in the stand provided for Delta.

For Rivers State, former Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, led the delegation comprising former governor, Chief Peter Odili, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Austin Okpara and Sergeant Awuse.

However, other aspirants who contested the gubernatorial ticket with Wike, the eventual winner, were conspicuously absent at the convention.

Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who was one of the two aspirants laying claim to victory in the gubernatorial primaries in Enugu State, sat with Governor Sullivan Chime, while the other aspirant, who also claimed victory, Senator Ayogu Eze, was not seen.

In Ebonyi State, the governor, Chief Martin Elechi, was conspicuously absent at the stand where former governor, Dr Sam Egwu, appeared to hold sway, with the elected gubernatorial candidate and incumbent deputy governor, David Umahi, flanking him with other politicians from the state.

Elechi lost out in his bid to foist former Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, as the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the state.

Also, the name of former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, appeared on the list of delegates to the convention from Ogun State, along with that of former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, both of who were absent at the event.

Security operatives, mainly policemen, had earlier begun screening of delegates before entry into the main arena of the Eagle Square, venue of the national convention.

Calmness pervaded the area as the security operatives applied metal detecting gadgets in screening delegates who formed a long queue.

It was observed that in spite of the queue, delegates from across the federation waited patiently for their turn.

Traders of branded items such as shirts, caps, key holders and hand fans, took advantage of the delegates attending the convention to make brisk business.

Security helicopter was also seen hovering over the area, while other security personnel such as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) were deployed in the area to forestall possible breach of security.

They also barricaded all entry points leading to the Eagle Square, as policemen and other plain clothed security operatives mounted surveillance at vantage positions to ensure that the motorists complied with the diversion rules.

Over 3,050 delegates from across the federation are to vote to ratify the position of some members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and President Jonathan’s endorsement at the convention.

Although President Jonathan had been endorsed by all organs of the PDP as its sole presidential candidate for the 2015 presidential election, delegates are also expected to revisit and affirm his endorsement.

The ratification of President Jonathan will be done by the delegates today.

Mr Olisa Metuh, PDP national publicity secretary, had earlier said although President Jonathan had been endorsed as the party’s sole presidential candidate, he had to be ratified by election.

This, he said, was in line with the provisions of the PDP’s constitution.

“Immediately after tomorrow when our endorsed candidates will officially be the candidate of the party, we will welcome the opposition to issue-based campaign,” he had said.

Officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) are also monitoring the ratification of President Jonathan by the delegates.

Meanwhile, a member of the Board of Trustees (BOT) of the party and former Minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, has declared that the next step was the PDP to start its campaign for votes for the re-election of President Jonathan and all its candidates in full blast.

Chief Babatope pointed out that the PDP, as usual, would move round all the nooks and crannies of the country to solicit for votes for its candidates in the elections.

Speaking with the Nigerian Tribune at the event, the PDP gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje, vowed that the party would break the jinx in Lagos State and ensure victory for the party in next year’s election.

He said people of the state were tired of the ruling party, saying “I think this time, we are going to break the jinx. A lot of work has been done, we are more united than it has ever been and the people of Lagos are tired of the ruling party.”

Also speaking, chairman of the Ogun State chapter of the party, Chief Bayo Dayo, debunked the speculation making the round that the national secretariat of the party in Abuja had cancelled the governorship primaries conducted in the state, saying that the exercise took place under conducive atmosphere.

Chief Dayo stated that the state chapter of the party was now united than ever and was set to reclaim the state from the All Progressives Congress (APC).

According to him, “our names are on the official delegate lists for the special national convention. We are participating fully in all the programmes here. You can see our delegates and the leaders of our party from the state, we are all together for the party, no more crisis.”

•Credit: Nigerian Tribune. Photo shows Jonathan and Sambo acknowleding cheers.

Source News Express

Posted 11/12/2014 01:17:48 AM

 

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