The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has finally decided to provide nomination forms for aspirants wishing to contest the presidential position within the party in 2015.
With this development, it is apparent that the PDP has rested its earlier decision endorsing President Goodluck Jonathan as sole candidate of the party.
The PDP had been accused of denying at least two aspirants nomination and expression of interest forms to contest alongside the party’s anointed candidate, President Jonathan.
The two aspirants, Dr. Abdul-Jhalil Tafawa-Balewa , son of Nigeria’s former Prime Minister, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Prof. Akasoba Duke-Abiola had gone to the Wadata Plaza Secretariat of the party to obtain their nomination forms but were turned back.
Reports said they were denied the chance to obtain the party’s nomination form because various organs of the party had already adopted President Jonathan as the sole candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
Specifically, Tafawa-Balewa had reportedly stormed PDP’s national secretariat with his supporters and bank tellers indicating a deposit of N22 million into a designated bank, hoping to purchase the presidential nomination and expression of interest forms, but was turned down by the party, reason being that the forms were not ready..
However, with the new decision by PDP to sell forms to other aspirants, it seems the duo of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the late Chief M.K.O Abiola’s widow and other candidates that would emerge, will now slug it out with President Jonathan at unprepared primaries by the PDP.
The new decision was handed down in a press release by the PDP and made available to Peoples Daily yesterday, signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Olisa Metuh.
“According to the statement, “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wishes to inform all aspirants to all positions for the 2015 general elections that the deadline for the purchase and collection of all nomination forms has been extended to Thursday, 6thNovember 2014”.
It also stated that, “All aspirants who paid for nomination forms, including the Presidential form but yet to collect same, should come to the PDP National Secretariat, Wadata Plaza, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja with verifiable evidence of payment for purposes of collection of their forms.”
It would be recalled that the PDP had adopted President Jonathan as its presidential candidate for the 2015 election.
The decision was announced at a NEC meeting chaired by Adamu Mua’zu, the national chairman of the party, and attended by Jonathan, Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark; his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu; and deputy speaker of the federal House of Representatives, Emeka Ihedioha.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal who was then rumored to be eyeing the All Progressives Congress, APC, Presidential ticket stayed away from the NEC meeting and offered no official reasons.
Tambuwal has presently joined the APC under controversial circumstances culminating into legal actions.
Governor of Jigawa state, Sule Lamido also stayed away from the meeting of the PDP governors.
Lamido, also rumored to be interested in contesting the 2015 presidential election, did not oppose the endorsement.
Jonathan has since formally picked his party’s nomination form, signifying his formal intension to contest the 2015 presidential election.