Several questions are being asked about the recent open declaration by 20 PDP governors that they would support President Goodluck Jonathans achieve the PDP primary election ticket come January 13, the date set aside for thePDP primary nomination.
The President has had his political fortune boosted during the week in an amazing declared support by twenty of PDP’s state governors who openly expressed willingness to throw their weight behind him to attain PDP’s 2011 election Presidential candidacy.
The governors announced on Thursday that they would support President Goodluck achieve his fragile ambition as next years April election looms.in The PDP primaries is coming up on January 13, 2011.
The gesture however has been laced with an attached complicated conditions; he must agree to serve only one term, a condition that has sold out the governors as playing pranks with the fortune of the nation.
“Nigeria is in a democratic system which is suppose to lack in any act of prediction. Now, power has been paraded as and viewed as if it is a product capable of being shifted at will” an angry legal practitioner declared in London adding the stance has betrayed the nation’s sense of nationalism.
“If PDP wins the election and at the end of first term Jonathan’s performance would need continuity for excellent result to be obviously achieved, how does such agreement favour the nation”, the source questioned.
The source lamented a situation whereby the nation’s future had long been played with some selfish stakeholders who only cares for their own interest, and not of the nation.
There are 26 state governors in the PDP, forming an influential caucus whose support is seen as key to Jonathan’s chances of success. The remaining 10 states are opposition held.
The governor’s statement:”Democratic systems all over the world recognize the principle of incumbency and continuity,” said Ibrahim Shema, governor of the northern state of Katsina, following an emergency meeting of PDP governors in the capital Abuja.
“The governors … hereby support and endorse President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to contest the 2011 election as the PDP presidential candidate for a period of four years only,” Shema said, reading from a statement signed by the 20 governors.
“Though, a commitment from Jonathan to stand for one term, then hand over to a northerner might appease some in the north, but it could also anger some southern factions who had bet on the rotation agreement giving them a shot at the presidency in 20152 observed Reuters.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was chosen by a group of northern politicians as a consensus candidate to challenge Jonathan at the PDP primaries.
Former military ruler Ibrahim Babangida, another influential ruling party figure, threatened last week to quit the PDP if Jonathan runs on its ticket.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will screen all its presidential aspirants on January 11, 2011, to ascertain their eligibility to participate in the primaries, which will hold in Abuja on January 13. This was part of the resolutions adopted by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party last Thursday. The committee reviewed the earlier guidelines and timetable following the release of new dates for the general elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Those to be screened are President Goodluck Jonathan, former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, Saleh Aminu, and Sarah Jubril, the only female aspirant among them. The other aspirants, namely Ibrahim Babangida, Aliyu Gusau, and Bukola Saraki would not participate, having lost the battle for the north’s consensus candidacy to Mr. Abubakar. Also, the NEC approved January 9 for the special congress and runoffs to elect gubernatorial candidates in all eligible states, while special congresses for the election of both Senate and the House of Representatives will hold at federal constituency headquarters and senatorial districts on January 5.
The State Assembly congresses have been fixed for January 3 and runoffs are billed to hold on the same day. The NEC also approved different dates for any aspirant who is not satisfied, to appeal against the outcomes of the primaries. The primaries will, however, be preceded by election of delegates and other activities between this month and January.
For instance, election of three ad-hoc delegates in ward congresses nationwide comes up on December 28, while the election of one national delegate in each of the 774 local government areas of the country comes up on January 11, 2010.
The PDP national publicity secretary, Ahmed Rufa’i Alkali, said the guidelines for the congresses, primaries, and national convention for the election of delegates and nomination of the party flag bearers remain valid as approved earlier by the NEC at its 53rd meeting last September.
He urged all aspirants to comply fully with the provisions of the guidelines to ensure that they don’t suffer any encumbrances in the process.
“The PDP timetable was arrived at after painstaking consultations with all stakeholders within the party. We solicit the cooperation of all party members, and indeed all Nigerians, including the gentlemen of the press to achieve a peaceful, democratic and all inclusive nomination exercise,” Mr. Alkali said.
The issue of the timetable and guidelines had for some weeks generated tension in the party, as different power blocs within it tried to outdo themselves over which primary election should come before the other.
While the governors wanted the gubernatorial primaries to come before the presidential, others, including Mr. Jonathan, wanted the latter to hold first.
Their belief is that the outcome of the first to be held will have a bandwagon effect on the subsequent ones. It was partly the reason the NEC meeting was on Tuesday shifted by two days to allow for more consultations.
However, the governors reportedly won the battle at the Thursday’s NEC meeting after a protracted meeting between them, the president, the National Assembly leadership, and members of the National Working Committee. Sources said it was the reason why 20 of the governors endorsed Mr. Jonathan’s presidential ambition on Thursday night after the NEC meeting.