After the National Executive Council of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) had endorsed him for the position at its 66th session that took place at its national secretariat in Abuja, on Thursday, September 18, after reports from the various organs of the party favouring his candidacy, President Goodluck Jonathan systematically accepted his nomination by the National Executive Committee (NEC) and Board of Trustees (BoT), promising not to disappoint.
The PDP BoT had, on Thursday morning, endorsed the president as the party’s sole candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
Jonathan, responding to the request, told PDP NEC: “Let me really say that the events of yesterday (Wednesday), starting with BoT meeting last night and what has just happened today (Thursday), with the various motions adopting me as sole candidate of the party, has really humbled me.
“Let me specially thank our governors that initiated that action, let me thank members of BoT, let me thank the Senate President and members of the National Assembly. Let me appreciate the PDP women for their position and the NEC, because no matter what anybody does, if NEC does not agree, you will be on your own.
“I am so overwhelmed but I lack word to express my mind. I will reserve that till an appropriate date that will come, but for today, I can only promise members of our party and, indeed, our country, that just like to whom more is given, more is expected.
“For you to have that kind of confidence in me, is a big challenge, extremely big challenge. But I promise, I will not disappoint you.”
The PDP NEC’s endorsement is the penultimate step in the emergence of the president as the standard-bearer of the party, which is now set to be ratified by its national convention on December 6, before he is proclaimed the candidate.
The National Assembly caucus of the party and its governors had similarly announced their endorsement of Jonathan for the election.
The motion to adopt the president at the NEC was moved by former acting national chairman of the party, Dr Haliru Mohammed, who was seconded by Second Republic governor of the old Enugu State, Chief Jim Nwobodo.
Mohammed had argued that since it was the tradition of the PDP to recognise excellence, particularly as the president had performed well in the implementation of the party manifesto, it was necessary to nominate him as the sole presidential candidate for the election.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we have come to that time again when we have to make decisions. We have done it before, we have always done it right in the PDP, we have always taken the best and the brightest. We cannot change a winning formula and we have had a winning formula right from 1999.
“In view of the fact that we have a tradition in PDP of recognising excellence, I will like to move that we accept the candidacy President Goodluck Jonathan as the candidate of PDP, to enable us to present one front at the next election and to avoid fractious arguments and contention that has always tended to break the unity of our great party,” he said.
Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State had earlier intimated the NEC of PDP Governors Forum’s decision to unanimously endorse Jonathan and corroborated the decision with the presence in the meeting of Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, who was thought to be interested in the presidential ticket.
Chief Shuaibu Oyedokun conveyed the decision of the PDP BoT to endorse the president, before Senate President, David Mark, pointed out that the National Assembly caucus of the party had since taken the decision to endorse Jonathan and had accordingly made it known to him.
The national chairman of PDP, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu, consequently put the question to vote and it was unanimously adopted by those present at the meeting which was thrown open to the media.
Meanwhile, rising from a meeting held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, the BoT approved the timetable and guidelines for the party’s primaries and national convention.
A former Minister of Information, Professor Jerry Gana, disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting which ended in the early hours of Thursday.
Gana was joined in the briefing by the Deputy President of the Senate, Mr Ike Ekweremadu and the PDP BoT Secretary, Mr Walid Jibril.
Gana said members of the board unanimously endorsed Jonathan after the chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Chief Godswill Akpabio, addressed them on the earlier endorsement of the president.