2015: Gov Lamido Drops Presidential Ambition, Endorses Jonathan
Consequent upon the endorsement of President Goodluck Jonathan by various organs of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the sole presidential candidate of the party in the 2015 election, the Board of Trustees (BoT) of the party has announced that Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido has dumped his 2015 presidential ambition for President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election.
The BoT disclosed this late last night after a meeting held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa in Abuja where it endorsed Jonathan as the party’s sole candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
Governor Lamido had reportedly been keenly interested in challenging Jonathan at the PDP’s primaries for the 2015 presidential election.
He earlier shunned a meeting of PDP governors where they also endorsed the president for second term.
But a member of the BoT and former Information Minister Jerry Gana, while confirming that Lamido had agreed to the endorsement of Jonathan said that Governor Akpabio, the Chairman of PDP Governor Forum, reported that Lamido phoned him during the meeting and directed the deputy governor of Jigawa who attended the meeting to sign the document. In other words, he (Lamido) authorised the deputy governor to sign on his behalf.
Asked whether Lamido had agreed to the endorsement of Jonathan by the PDP governors forum, Gana said Akpkabio who confirmed to the BoT that Lamido “phoned him during the meeting and directed the deputy governor of Jigawa who attended the meeting to sign the document. In other words, he (Lamido) authorised the deputy governor to sign on his behalf, and therefore the answer to your question is that he too endorsed that decision. We asked the same question and that is the answer we got”.
Gana added that the PDP governors agreed that none of them would contest the position of president in the PDP primaries.
“Hence, the BoT was so informed today 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, because of the mature way he has been leading Nigeria, because of the humble, dedicated and pathetic way he has been handling very sensitive issues, the BoT is delighted, convinced and overwhelmed by the fact that we’ve a very impressive candidate.
“Therefore, the BoT also unanimoulsy resolved that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan be the sole candidate of the party in the forthcoming election. That was unanimously resolved with a standing ovation and the BoT is very excited. I’d like to take this opportunity to also say the BoT thanked the governors for their wisdom, maturity and love of the party. And I want to emphasise; we asked the governors and they said all the PDP governors signed the document which is going to be presented to the president in another session”.
Gana said the BoT also approved the timetable and guidelines for the party’s primaries and national convention for the 2015 elections, adding that the document would be presented to the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting today for final endorsement.
On whether Jonathan’s endorsement as the party’s sole candidate is not repugnant to internal democracy, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu said, “The name of our party is the People’s Democratic Party. So, democracy is part of us and we’re very concious 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, we’re simply saying that we’re persuading every member of the party to accept that position. We’re not going to force any person, but we’re making a strong statement; we’re persuading our people strongly to accept this position for the reasons earlier mentioned. It’s also important for us to know that we need to reward hard work, commitment, achievement and performance.
“We’re borrowing from other democracies including the US where a sitting president who has done so well is expected to be rewarded by his party with a ticket. So, we’re building a tradition which we hope that those who will come after us will be able to imbibe. This is also within the tenet of democracy, not only in Nigeria, but in other parts of the world”.
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