Wednesday, 21 August 2013

2015: PDP rues automatic tickets for Jonathan, governors

2015: PDP rues automatic tickets for Jonathan,  governors

by: Gbade Ogunwale and Augustine Ehikioya

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) leaders may propose automatic tickets for President Goodluck Jonathan and governors for the 2015 general election, The Nation learnt yesterday.
The proposal, which sources said was discussed at yesterday’s National Working Committee (NWC) meeting, reportedly emanated from some power brokers who sold it to the party’s leadership.
If it scales through, it may require tinkering with the party’s constitution through a motion.
According to party sources, the proposal may be phrased “offer of first refusal for a sitting President and first term governors elected on the platform of the PDP”.
“The tickets would be thrown open to interested aspirants, if the President and the governors reject the offer,” a party source stated yesterday.
It was also gathered yesterday that the proposal’s sponsors have detailed one of the party chieftains, who is from the Northeast origin to move the motion, which would be seconded by another chieftain from the Southwest.
Many of the state chapters are said to have bought into the idea, particularly states in the Southeast, Southsouth, Southwest and Northcentral.
Should the motion scale through, the matter will then be tabled at the August 31 mini-convention for ratification.
Board of Trustees Chairman Chief Tony Anenih, a few weeks ago, tactically mooted the idea of granting automatic tickets to President Jonathan and other elective office holders for the 2015 election.
It was gathered that the issue of removal of the party’s national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, may not be tabled at the meeting, since, according to sources, majority of the stakeholders had agreed on retaining him.
The sources maintained that President Jonathan made it clear to stakeholders that he was not favourably disposed to removing Tukur in the thick of the crises rocking the party.
There are only five PDP governors who are doing their first term. These are: Seriake Dickson (Bayelsa) Abdufattah Ahmed (Kwara), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe) Murkhtar Yero (Kaduna) and Idris Wada (Kogi)
Yesterday at the Presidential Villa, Sokoto State Governor Aliyu Wamakko met briefly with President Jonathan.
Wamakko is one of the G5 governors who are seeking a reform of the PDP.
The rest are Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa).
They have met with former heads of state and ex-presidents, among other eminent people.
Speaking with State House reporters, Wamakko said: “Is it a crime to come here? I always come to the Villa. It is a routine visit just to rub minds. It’s just a routine visit to discuss state matters with the President of this great country.”
On whether he is still insisting on Tukur’s removal, he replied with a loud laugh.

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