Governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rose from a meeting yesterday to endorse President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term ambition in 2015.
The governors also announced that the President would be the sole candidate of the party for the Presidential election.
Briefing newsmen after the meeting, the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum (PDPGF) and the Akwa-Ibom state governor, Godswill Akpabio, who read the communiqué, said they unanimously agreed to hand the party ticket to the President.
He said, “At the end of our meeting today, we resolved as follows: The PDP Governors’ Forum hereby endorses Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for a second term in office and resolved to support his bid for re-election in 2015.
The Forum urged all PDP faithful to support this gesture which should enable the President to become the sole Presidential candidate of the PDP come 2015.
While commending the efforts of the armed forces in fighting the insurgency in the north east, the governors also urged the international community to continue to cooperate with the Federal Government in order to stamp out terrorism from the country.
The PDP governors also noted the successes recorded by the health ministry in confronting Ebola Virus Disease, just as they commended the President for the feat. They also thanked the people for rallying round the leadership of the country and pleaded for sustainability of the efforts.
Those present at the meeting include Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa), Theodore Orji (Abia), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe), Idris Wada (Kogi), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Ramallan Yero ( Kaduna).
Others were Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Saidu Dakingari ( Kebbi); Ahmadu Fintiri and Umar Garba (acting governors Adamawa and Taraba respectively).
Mahmoud Gumel, Abdullahi Faskari and Mukhtar Shagari, Damishi Luka, deputy governors of Jigawa, Katsina, Sokoto and Nasarawa states respectively were also at the meeting.
Meanwhile, the PDP also yesterday, affirmed that it would hold the primary for its presidential ticket on December 6, this year.
According to the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the governorship primaries would hold on November 29 while those aspirating to contest the National Assembly tickets would slug it out on the 22nd of same month.
As at the time of filing this report, the Board of trustees (BoT) of the party were holding a meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan at the Villa to take a position that would be ratified at the party’s National Executive Council (NEC)’s meeting scheduled to hold this morning.
Metuh was, however, silent on the date for the commencement of the sales of Expression of Interest (EOI) and Nomination forms.
A source hinted that barring any change in plan, the party may begin the sale of the forms from October 27.
The source further disclosed that civil and public servants, government appointees and elected party officials wishing to contest the PDP primaries are expected to resign their positions 7 days ahead of the commencement of ward congresses where delegates to the primaries will be elected.
According to the timetable released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), party primaries for next year’s elections should hold between October 2nd and 31st of December this year.
The PDP caucus meeting, which held up to the wee hours of yesterday at the Presidential Villa, brainstormed on amendments to be made to the party’s guidelines ahead of the 2015 general election, it was learnt.
The meeting, which had in attendance President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo deliberated on the new guidelines which would be approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting to be held at the Wadata House PDP Secretariat today.
Briefing State House correspondents at the end of the Caucus meeting, Delta State Governor, Emmanuel Uduaghan, said that the party’s election guidelines towards 2015 general election was the main focus at the meeting.
He said: “Most of the discussions were centred on the 2015 elections; that is, preparations of the party for the 2015 elections. There were presentations by the National Working Committee. You know we will have our National Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, and the guidelines for the party were discussed.”
“But most of the decisions will be taken at the NEC meeting on Thursday.”
“What we did here was to brainstorm on certain issues that will be presented at the NEC meeting. So, it is on that Thursday that a lot of the decisions that will guide us for the 2015 elections will be taken,” he said.
Also speaking, the Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji said that the PDP election guidelines would be tabled before the NEC meeting on Thursday.
He said: “To take critically look at the guidelines of the party and make amendments that will be passed to NEC next tomorrow.”
Among those present at the Caucus meeting, which started by 8.37pm on Tuesday are Vice President Namadi Sambo; the President of the Senate, Sen. David Mark, and the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha.
Others are the Leader of the Senate, Victor Ndoma-Egba; the Deputy Senate Leader, Abdul Ningi; the PDP Chairman, Adamu Muazu; the Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus, and a former PDP Chairman, Ahmadu Ali.
The Secretary of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Walid Jibril; the Special Adviser to the President on Political Affairs, Rufai Alkali; the PDP National Women Leader, Kema Chikwe; the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation also attended the meeting.
Governors at the meeting are Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Jonah Jang (Plateau), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) and Theodore Orji (Abia).