There was a mild drama at General Usman Katsina House, Kaduna yesterday when the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the North-west geo-political zone stormed the state to announce the
endorsement of President Gooduck Jonathan and Architect Mohammed Namadi Sambo ticket for the 2015 election even as some other group walked out protesting the endorsement.
According to the group, led by a member of the Katsina state House of Assembly, who preferred anonymity, “We were not informed of any plan to endorse President Jonathan or anybody for the presidential election. We were only called for a stakeholder’s meeting on how to move the party forward”. The dissenting group, who, according to our Correspondent left the venue angrily, was thereafter joined by some touts who chanted “Sai Shema, Sai Shema.
Though the leadership and members of the party, at an expanded stakeholders meeting, were silent on the outright endorsement of the President but simply urged him to declare for the 2015 Presidency.
However Governors Sule Lamido of Jigawa and his Katsina counter-part, Shehu Shema shunned the meeting of the party to endorse Jonathan.
Lamido’s absence, a source at the meeting said, could not be unconnected with his presidential ambition to unseat Jonathan in 2015 while Shema was linked to his alleged moves to unseat the Vice President, Namadi Sambo.
Also absent were Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal and the Education Minister, Ibrahim Shekarau.
Meanwhile posters of President Goodluck Jonathan and that of Katsina State Governor, Shehu Shema was openly displayed. Some of the posters which are also pasted around the major streets in Kaduna carried inscriptions such as “The Winning Team, Jonathan and Shema your best choice.”
Those at the event include the National Chairman of the party, Adamu Mu’azu, its National Oganizing Secretary, Abubabkar Mustapha, the party zonal Chairman, Ambassador Adamu Kazaure, Major-Gen. Mohammed Magaro(rtd), Deputy Governor of Sokoto State, Mukhtar Shagari among others.
Speaking on behalf of the governors from the zone, the Kebbi State Governor, Usman Dankingari, emphatically said that the governors would ensure that they deliver the zone, which he described as the most sophisticated and most populous in terms of voting size in the country, to the President.
“The zone, which is the most sophisticated and populous and other parts of the north will be delivered to the party in 2015,” he said.
Ambassador Aminu Wali, Minister of Foreign Affairs, who read the communiqué on behalf of the stakeholders, said the President had done a lot to deserve a second term from the people of the zone
National Chairman of the party in his address said that the party, which is as “constant as the northern stars”, remain a party to beat and urged members of the party in the zone to remain united so as to deliver in 2015.
Stating why the President was endorsed, Wali said, in the communiqué, that the party remained a party to beat under Jonathan, noting also that Nigeria had recorded landmark achievements in all sectors of the economy.