Ahead of its presidential primaries scheduled for December 6, the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has adopted President Goodluck Jonathan as its sole candidate for the 2015 election.
The National Executive Committee, NEC, of the party took the decision Thursday at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
The position follows a similar decision by the PDP governors’ forum and the party’s Board of Trustees, BOT. The two organs had earlier endorsed the president on Wednesday.
The decision means no candidate, except Mr. Jonathan, can seek to contest the 2015 presidential election on the platform of the PDP.
At Thursday’s meeting, the governor of Niger state, Muazu Aliyu, who was first to speak, told the meeting that all PDP governors had in their meeting on Wednesday “unanimously without any reservation decided to endorse the sole candidature of President Goodluck Jonathan in the 2015 election”.
Mr. Aliyu also called on the Jigawa state Governor, Sule Lamido, to stand up and recognise the decision of the governors.
Mr. Lamido stood up and nodded his head in agreement with his Niger state colleague.
Mr. Lamido had earlier rejected the adoption of Mr. Jonathan by the North West PDP, as he is reported to be nursing a presidential ambition.
But the decision of the governors, the party’s BoT and the entire party appears to have put paid to the Jigawa State governor’s ambition.
A spokesperson of the BoT, Shuaibu Oyedokun, also informed the NEC that the board, regarded as the conscience of the party, has also unanimously adopted Mr. Jonathan as the PDP’s sole candidate.
In a brief remark, the Senate President, David Mark, informed the gathering that if there is any arm of government that is interested in continuity, it is the legislature.
“At the PDP Caucus of the National Assembly, we have decided that a sitting and performing president should be given a chance to continue to perform even better,” Mr. Mark said.
The motion for the adoption of Mr. Jonathan was moved by the former national chairman of the party, Bello Haliru.
In his speech, Mr. Haliru said the PDP had an important decision to take, arguing that “we have never taken a wrong decision before”.
“We cannot change a winning formula that have been working for us since 1999,” he said. “In PDP we have a tradition of queuing up behind our leaders. President Jonathan has performed creditably well as attested to by all the organs of the party.
“Therefore, for the good of Nigeria and for the good work that the PDP is doing for the country, I move that the NEC endorse the candidature of President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s candidate in the 2015 election,” Mr. Haliru said.
The motion was seconded by a former governor of old Anambra state, Jim Nwobodo.
Thereafter, the national Chairman of the party, Adamu Muazu, put the question to members who unanimously agreed that the Mr. Jonathan be retained as the sole candidate of the party for the 2015 election.
The meeting is still in progress and the president is yet to respond to his endorsement by his party.
The party had earlier fixed its presidential primaries for December 6.