The ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has today begun its two-day National Convention at Eagles Square, Abuja.
Top on the agenda of the convention is the ratification of President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s candidate in the February 14 presidential election and that of Adamu Mu’azu and Wale Oladipo as the party’s national chairman and national secretary, respectively.
Over 3,050 delegates from the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory are expected at the convention.
The delegates, according to the party’s spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, will be validating the candidacy of Mr. Jonathan on Thursday.
He had emerged the party’s sole presidential candidate in November, amid controversy over the withdrawal of his challengers, Jelil Tafawa Balewa, son of Nigeria’s former Prime Minister, and Akasoba Duke-Abiola, widow of the late Moshood Abiola.
Indeed, Mrs. Duke-Abiola is insisting she is still in the presidential race.
The president had been adopted by all the organs of the party, including its governors.
However, Mr. Jonathan’s adoption will still be ratified through the process of election in line with Section 87 of the Electoral Act to avoid litigations that could lead to the disqualification of the president from the impending contest.
On his part, Mr. Mu’azu, a former governor of Bauchi State, was appointed the PDP national chairman in January following the resignation of Bamanga Tukur from the position.
Mr. Oladipo was inaugurated in September last year.
The last presidential primary of the PDP held on January 14, 2011, at the same venue, Eagles Square.
In that election, Mr. Jonathan slugged it out with former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Sarah Jubril.
The result announced by the Chief Returning Officer, Tunde Adeniran, a former education minister, showed that Mr. Jonathan polled 2,736 votes to beat Mr. Abubakar who got 805 votes while Mrs. Jubril got one vote.
Mr. Abubakar has since defected to the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, on whose platform he is contesting the primary today in Lagos. He is running against four other aspirants.
The president, who went ahead to win the main presidential election, compensated Mrs. Jubril with an appointment as Senior Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values.
PREMIUM TIMES will bring you LIVE UPDATES of today’s convention at Eagles Square.