- Category: Politics
- Published on Tuesday, 21 September 2010 09:41
- Written by Daily Sun
- Hits: 2287
President Goodluck Jonathan did not need a crystal ball to get this prediction right. Asked, a few months ago, to state if he would run for next year’s presidential election or not, Jonathan begged to tarry awhile. His reason? Governance at every tier would come to a halt as soon as he makes public his position.
If he declared to run, there’d immediately follow a frenzy of ‘declarations’ by governors, lawmakers and everyone else. Government would literally shut down, as attention would now shift to 2011.
The President’s fears are coming true less than 48 hours after he declared to run at Eagles Square, Abuja, Saturday. No fewer than five governors, Monday, launched their campaigns for re-election and that is not counting Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara, who is queuing for Jonathan’s job, Senate President David Mark and former NSA, Gen. Aliyu Gusau, who is equally eyeing Aso Rock. The declaration fever has begun.
Declaration fever appears to have gripped members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the Senate President, David Mark, former National Security Adviser (NSA), Aliyu Gusau, and no fewer than six governors picked nomination forms indicating their interests to seek re-election, and elective positions in the 2011 polls.
While the Senate President is seeking re-election into the Senate, the duo of Aliyu Gusau and outgoing Kwara State Governor, Bukola Saraki are aspiring for the highest office in the land, the presidency.
The following governors, Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State, Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto State and Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State also picked nomination forms in a bid to return to office in 2011..
The wave of declarations apparently was in compliance with the party’s timetable for primaries.
Contrary to expectations that the former National Security Adviser and Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential aspirant, General Aliyu Gusau would come personally to the party’s national secretariat to pick his nomination form, many journalists left the secretariat disappointed, as they waited in vain.
A source, however, revealed that the former security chief sent one of his aides to pick the form on his behalf.
The source gave the numbers of the Expression of Interest and Nomination forms as “006 and 007,” respectively. Speaking further, he argued that there was no way the former NSA would have surfaced at the PDP national secretariat yesterday as he had to do the formally handing over to Colonel Kayode Are who had since assumed office as the substantive NSA.
Yesterday also, the Kwara State Governor and Chairman of the Nigerian Governors‘ Forum, (NGF), Governor Bukola Saraki returned his forms. Speaking with journalists, Saraki disclosed that he has what it takes to transform Nigeria.
“Today I notified my intention to run for the presidency of Nigeria on the PDP platform and I am here to submit my expression of interest and nomination forms to contest the presidency of Nigeria.
I am here to formally submit that form and I see it as an historic moment. It is my belief that we have come to a point in Nigeria’s history after 50 years of independence, we are about to start another 50 years. We believe that some of us have energy, resourcefulness, ability and knowledge that can we can use to transform Nigeria and replicate some of the things we have done in our states. I am saying that we have to get it done. Many people have said it is time for our generation to move Nigeria forward and I believe that I have what it takes to do that and I would do it generally.”
In Makurdi, the Benue State capital, the party secretariat, was a beehive of activities Monday as different aspirants came to pick their nomination forms amidst cheers.
As early as 8a.m, supporters of the various aspirants had besieged the secretariat while various cultural groups also pitched their tents in every available corner.
Among the aspirants who turned up to pick nomination forms were the Senate President, Senator David Mark, Senator Akaagerger, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Senatorial aspirant, Prof. James Ayatse, Hon. Terseer Tsumba, House of Representatives member representing Ushongo/Kwande Constituency, Hon. Chile Igbauwa among others.
Speaking to newsmen after picking the form, the Director General, Senator Mark’s Campaign Organisation, Comrade Abba Moro explained that the Senate President has done very well and should be given another chance to represent Benue South Senatorial District again to enable him actualize his dreams for the zone.
In Sokoto State, Wamakko’s picking of nomination form was contained in a statement signed by the Party Secretary in the state; Mallam Aminu Bello Sokoto, a copy of which was made available to newsmen in Sokoto.
It stated that the governor’s action was in compliance with the National Headquarters of the party to that effect.
According to a statement, “Governor Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko obtained the party’s nomination form for the 2011 gubernatorial election based on the directives of the National Headquarters of the party.”
It further added that, the compliance with the directives was to meet the guidelines, which set the closing date for the return of all forms for all positions to be contested for by Monday, September 20, 2010.
Governor Babangida Aliyu, was overwhelmed when the chairmen of the 25 Local Government councils in the state announced their determination to contribute money and pay for the purchase of his nomination form.
Chairman of the Forum of Council Chairmen in the state, Mr. Jacob Gana who took the cheering news to the governor said the move was in recognition of his impressive performance in the last three years in the state.
Gana disclosed that each of the council chairmen had agreed to contribute a sum of N250, 000, totaling N6.25milion. “Out of this amount we are going to pay the mandatory N5.5million for the governor’s nomination form.
He said the people of Niger State have benefited tremendously from the governor’s grass root development, which he said had motivated them to contribute money to pay for the form.
Speaking to journalists at the PDP Office, Okigwe Road, Owerri where he went to submit his form, Governor Ikedi Ohakim said he was seeking to serve Imo people for another four years.
“I want to state here that I have come here to submit my form to run for a second term as the governor of Imo State,” he said.
Fielding questions from journalists, the governor stated that his form has been signed by the party, adding that “waiver or no waiver has nothing to do with me.”
He disclosed that he would officially declare on September 28, 2010 at the Dan Anyiam Stadium, Owerri.
“I will speak on September 28. That is the day I will tell Imo people I am running for a second term. Others have been speaking but that day I will speak,” he stressed.
In Bauchi, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Alhaji Abdulmuminu Mohammed Kundak disclosed Governor Isa Yuguda’s purchase of the party’s nomination form yesterday when the Joint Association of Traders and Artisans visited him.
The chairman of the association, Alhaji Salisu Garba Mai Sugar said they were offering N6 million to purchase the form for Yuguda to contest the 2011 gubernatorial election on the platform of the PDP.
But Kundak in his reply said: “Your goodwill to purchase the form for his Excellency is first of its kind in the history of Politics in Bauchi State, I will convey your intention and goodwill to the governor.”
He, however, told them that the governor had already paid the draft cheque for the form earlier in the morning (Monday) in Abuja. He added: “We are happy for your gesture and goodwill, the governor will feel encouraged.”