Nigeria 2015: Jonathan ‘considering’ venues for declaration; unsure of Eagles Square

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has not decided yet on where he will formally announce his reelection bid, the chairman of the team overseeing preparations for the declaration, Haliru Mohammed, has said.

Mr. Jonathan is to formally declare his presidential ambition between November 7 and 15.

Former minister, Mr. Mohammed, heads the declaration committee, and is supported by Ken Namani (Deputy Chairman), Anyim Pius Anyim (Secretary), Rufa’i Ahmed Alkali (member), Julius Imagwe (member), Edo, and Baraka Sani(member).

State governors on the team are Liyel Imoke, Cross River State; Theodore Orji, Abia; Olusegun Mimiko, Ondo; Babangida Aliyu, Niger; Ibrahim Shema, Katsina; and Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State.

The representatives of the National Assembly are Hosea Agbola, (Oyo State), Ahmed Makarfi (Kaduna), Bitrus Kaze (Plateau) and Salmas Badru (Ogun).

The chairman of the committee, Mr. Mohammed, said the committee has been divided into subcommittees to facilitate a smooth event.

“The subcommittees will now make their programmes based on their terms of reference. They will get the budget and then we will start rolling,’’ Mr. Mohammed said Monday.

The announcement followed a meeting by the committee at the State House, Abuja, Monday.

He said the committee had not decided on the venue for the presidential declaration.

‘‘We are considering a number of venues,” he said.

‘‘The nature of the organisation will determine the venue because there are events that are solemn that could be done in a room like a meeting, there are events that require razzmatazz that only could be done in an arena.

‘‘We haven’t decided the format yet. It is one of the jobs of the subcommittees to decide the format and the procedure.

‘‘When that is done, we will decide the appropriate venue for that kind of arrangement,’’ he said.

According to him, each event will determine its own venue.

Most presidential bids in the past were announced at the Eagles Square.

Mr. Jonathan declared for the 2011 election at the square, which is a short distance from the presidential office.

Meanwhile, Abia State governor, Theodore Orji, has advised Mr. Jonathan to heed the call by his supporters to contest the 2015 Presidential Election and ignore any contrary advice.

Mr. Orji urged the president to ignore the advice of an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, that he and APC Chieftain Muhammadu Buhari, should not run.

Mr. Gumi said the two should not run because they were seen as religious leaders.

‘‘Well, every person can say anything. You can advise somebody, it is left for that person to take your advice or not.

‘‘That is a personal advice, but the general advice is for the president to contest,’’ Mr. Orji said.


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