GEJ, SAMBO TICKETNigeria’s ruling party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), early on Thursday morning, confirmed President Goodluck Jonathan as its presidential candidate in the 2015 election.

The president secured 2,812 votes, representing the votes of all delegates who gathered at at the party’s national convention at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

Highlights:

  • All delegates at the Eagles Square venue of the primary voted for Jonathan – no void votes, no abstention
  • The highest number of votes (138) came from Akwa Ibom delegates
  • Jonathan promptly endorsed Sambo as running mate
  • Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and erstwhile House of Reps Speaker, Dimeji Bankole, shunned the event
  • The President gave a very inspiring acceptance speech.

 Details

The PDP primary began on Wednesday December 10 and lasted till well past midnight when Chairman of the event Senator Ken Nnamani invited Chief Tom Ikimi to announce the result.

Declaring Jonathan the elected party candidate, chairman of the election committee, Senator Ken Nnamani, said he was elected, having scored in excess of two thirds votes.

Votes tally

President Jonathan polled a total of 2,812 votes broken down by state as follows:

Anambra 59, Abia 55, Bayelsa 65, Adamawa 104, Jigawa 109, Ebonyi 83, Ekiti 49, Cross River 87, Kaduna 90, Osun 63, Oyo 91, Delta 120, Taraba 90, Benue 99, Katsina 119, Edo 51, Ogun 55, Gombe 74, Kano 104, Nasarrawa 55, Imo 107, Kebbi 83, Niger 92, Enugu 94, Yobe 20, Sokoto 59, Kwara 40, Kogi 81, Zamfara 51, Rivers 69, Ondo 78, Plateau 68, Lagos 47, Borno 47, Bauchi 87, Akwa Ibom 138 and FCT 27.

Running mate

Jonathan wasted no time in announcing Vice President Namadi Sambo as his running mate. He paid glowing tribute to Vice President Namadi Sambo, who he fondly calls ‘my brother’, and his wife for their loyalty.

Acceptance

In his acceptance speech, the President declared that the country had witnessed a lot of positive change in the last years, in spite of the numerous challenges.

He said the PDP was more attuned to the yearning of the people, even as he urged Nigerians to stand together for the unity of the country.

He promised that he would use his second term in office to consolidate on the visible gains already achieved and guarantee the future of the country.

“What we need is to consolidate our gains to secure our future,” Jonathan said.

He admonished Nigerians that in the coming election, the choice was whether to go back to the past or move into the future.

He did not miss the opportunity to take a swipe at the opposition, affirming that change had already come to Nigeria while others were busy changing the names of their political parties and changing from one party to the other.

In a vintage off the cuff speech, Jonathan asked rhetorically:

Has change not come to our railway?

Has change not come to our airports?

Has change not come to our road network?

Has change not come to our agriculture sector?

Has change not come to our electoral process?

Has change not come to Almajiri education?

Is change not coming to our power sector?

Other highlights of the acceptance speech:

  • Urged Nigerians to support him, saying that he would not let them down
  • Nomination as the PDP presidential candidate exemplifies the party’s determination to ensure that democracy in Nigeria yields the desired benefits for Nigerians
  • Urged political parties in the country to rise above all impediments to project the country to a higher level
  • Assured all PDP members that all complaints and grievances within the party would be amicably resolved
  • The country’s fight against corruption is on course and would be won
  • Government to ensure that no child lacks basic needs and that no woman dies from child birth
  • The PDP primary coinciding with Human Rights Day is instructive: The president said the observance of human rights was the cornerstone of his administration, adding that no Nigerian would be persecuted for holding a contrary view
  • Enjoined the opposition to be honest in its campaigns, acknowledge the accomplishments of his administration and be avoid propaganda and half truths

Ratifications

The party, also during the convention, endorsed Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu as the National Chairman.

Mu’azu, having polled more than two-thirds of the total votes required, was endorsed by the delegates at the national convention held at the Eagle Square, Abuja.

President Jonathan, accompanied by the First Lady, Patience and Vice President Sambo, led the process by casting their votes.

Senate President, David Mark, Governors Goodswill Akpabio of Bayelsa, Ramalan Yero of Kaduna, amongst other dignitaries, voted alongside the president.

Delegates were mandated to cast their votes at various poling units for their states at the venue of the convention.

Chairman of the convention planning committee, Alhaji Haliru Bello, had, in a welcoming address, declared that the exercise was meant to properly elect Mu’azu and three other members of the PDP NWC.

Others whose positions were confirmed are the National Secretary, Professor Wale Oladipo and the National Auditor, Mr Wole Adeyanju.

Dramatic moments

Before voting commenced, the principal officers moved to the stands of their home delegates to felicitate with them.

President Jonathan’s movement to the Bayelsa stand was thrilling and dramatic.

Accompanied by Mua’zu, President Jonathan was greeted with songs of victory by Bayelsa women at the stand where Governor Seriake Dickson and other key party men in the state received him.

Vice President Sambo also moved to his Kaduna stand to felicitate with the people of the state amidst song and cheers by delegates from the state, led by Governor Ramallan Yero.

Rallying ground

The convention venue turned out to be a rallying ground for disputing gubernatorial aspirants in some of the states.

Adamawa State governor, James Ngilari, who along with his supporters had rejected the outcome of the state gubernatorial primary conducted in Abuja, which produced former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)  Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as the candidate, attended the convention along with other prominent members of the party in the state, after he had threatened a boycott.

Ngilari sat at the head of Adamawa State delegates, which included Ribadu and other aspirants, including Brigadier-General Buba Marwa and Dr Ahmed Gulak.

The governor and Ribadu were later seen walking together to meet President Jonathan inside the State Box.

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State and the state PDP gubernatorial candidate, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, also sat together in the stand provided for Delta.

For Rivers State, former Minister of State for Education, Nyesom Wike, led the delegation comprising former governor, Chief Peter Odili, former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Austin Okpara and Sergeant Awuse.

Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who was one of the two aspirants laying claim to victory in the gubernatorial primaries in Enugu State, sat with Governor Sullivan Chime, while the other aspirant, who also claimed victory, Senator Ayogu Eze, was not seen.

Ebonyi State governor, Chief Martin Elechi, was conspicuously absent at the state’s stand where former governor, Dr Sam Egwu, appeared to hold sway. He was flanked by elected gubernatorial candidate and incumbent Deputy Governor, David Umahi, and other politicians from the state.

Elechi lost out in his bid to get former Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu chosen as the party’s gubernatorial candidate in the state.

OBJ absent

Former president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, did not show up to answer his name on the list of delegates to the convention from Ogun State. Former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dimeji Bankole, also made a no show but their absence appeared not to have been felt.

Security

Security operatives, mainly policemen, left nothing to chance. They screened delegates with metal detecting gadgets before entry into the main arena of the Eagle Square, venue of the national convention.

A security helicopter was also seen hovering over the area, while other security personnel such as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps were deployed in the area to forestall possible breach of security.

Entry points leading to the Eagle Square were barricaded, effectively shutting off the Federal Secretariat, as policemen and other plain clothes security operatives mounted surveillance at vantage positions to ensure that the motorists complied with the diversion rules.

Side attractions

A wide variety of music and dance ensured that the delegates stayed awake while enterprising traders made brisk business from the sale of branded items such as shirts, caps, key holders and hand fans.

NP/NTA (Monitored)

 

 

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