Nigeria News
Jonathan picks nomination forms

PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan yesterday stormed the national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, where he collected the expression of interest and nomination forms of the party to vie for the 2015 presidential election.

President Jonathan, whose nomination form was funded by contributions from a wide gamut of stakeholders was led in a carnival-like procession that included the top hierarchy of the ruling party, governors and senior stakeholders to the national secretariat of the PDP yesterday afternoon.

JONATHAN PICKS HIS NOMINATION FORMs: Peoples Democratic Party, Pdp National Organising Secretary, Amb. Abubakar Mustapha (m) presenting expression of interest and nomination forms to President Goodluck Jonathan at the party's secretariat in Abuja, yesterday. On the left is PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu'azu. Photo: NAN.

In his entourage were Vice-President Namadi Sambo; the national chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu‘azu; Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus, other members of the National Working Committee, NWC; Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, governors of Delta, Katsina; Akwa Ibom; Enugu; Cross River; Ekiti; Bayelsa states; ministers, political adviser to the president, Professor Rufai Alkali; Political Adviser to the Vice President, Mallam Abba Dabo.

Others are Senators Emmanuel Paulker and Clever Ikisikpo; National Vice Chairman, South South, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh; National Vice Chairman, South East, Col. Austin Akobundu; Prince Arthur Eze, among others.

The president, who arrived the hall at exactly 2.08 pm, was presented the forms by the National Organising Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha at 2.20 pm following which the president responded for five minutes.

Presenting the forms to the president, Mustapha who announced that Jonathan had paid for the form earlier, a reason he cited for giving him the form, declared that history had been made by the PDP, explaining that it was the first time the party had given a sitting president the right of first refusal.

Handing over the form to the President, Mustapha prayed that God should grant him victory in the election.

Following that, the president in his response thanked all those who have supported him in the quest towards the second term pointing out the Chief Ifeanyi Ubah-led Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, TAN, the PDP Governors Forum, among others who provided the money for the form, promised to work in a way not to disappoint them.

“Let me use this unique opportunity to thank the PDP Governors Forum for providing the two million for the procurement of the expression of interest form and the 20m for the procurement of nomination form.

“Let me also thank members of TAN for providing N2m for the expression of interest form and N20m for the procurement of nomination form. And let me really thank so many Nigerians that I cannot enumerate because it is quite difficult. It has been formally announced; youth groups, women groups, civil society groups, even students from the northwest, northeast, north central, south west, south east and south south; contributed to the procurement of the forms today.

“I remain most grateful for their gesture and I thank them for believing first in this country, secondly for believing in the PDP because they know that this form is for the PDP ticket and lastly for believing in me.”

“What I can say is to reassure them that I will work with all Nigerians, and I will always maintain that no matter how strong a president is all over the world, the president is only one individual and you alone can’t do anything. You alone cannot change the society. For you to succeed, you work with people. So, if you are succeeding, that means we have a team that is working to transform this country. So, I will work with all Nigerians to make sure that we move our country to the next level.

Soon after the presentation of the forms to the President, Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State immediately raised the song “This is the day that the Lord has made” and everyone in the hall immediately stood up and started singing, including the president.

President Goodluck Jonathan displaying Expression of Interest and Nomination Forms  at the People's Democratic Party's Secretariat in Abuja on Thursday (30/10/14).

Meanwhile, the PDP national chairman, Muazu speaking at the occasion said the party owed it a duty to encourage a performing president and governors desiring a second term.

“As you see I am not supposed to be in the progeramme but it gives me great pleasure this afternoon to, on behalf of the National Working Committee of the PDP welcome our president, our leader who has been given the right of first refusal by our party as our own candidate.

“We have decided that our governors, president running for a second term that have performed creditably will be given the right of first refusal and all of us know that Mr. President has done so many things. This is not the forum for us to enumerate. We look forward to the campaign that we will unfold to Nigerians.”

It would be recalled that the PDP NEC had at its 66th session on September 18, 2014 adopted President Jonathan as the party’s sole presidential candidate with a decision to ratify the adoption at a national convention to be held on December 6.

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