President Goodluck Jonathan said he is humbled by his endorsement as the sole candidate by all the organs of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.
For the first time in the history of the ruling party in Nigeria, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has adopted its sitting president as sole candidate ahead of a general election.
Recall that former vice-president; Alex Ekwueme lost the party presidential convention to Chief Olusegun Obasanjo at the convention held in Jos ahead of 1999 general elections.
Obasanjo was returned as presidential candidate in 2003 having defeated the late governor of Kano State, Abubakar Rimi. Also, the late Umaru Yar’Adua defeated the incumbent Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha to emerge the party’s candidate in December 2006 at the convention held at Eagles Square, Abuja.
At the 66th NEC meeting of the party yesterday in Abuja, leaders of the party adopted President Jonathan as the PDP candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
Niger State Governor and Chairman, Northern States Governors’ Forum, Babangida Aliyu set the ball rolling when he presented the communique of the party’s governors taken on Wednesday night at Akwa Ibom State Governor’s Lodge, adopting Dr Jonathan as sole presidential candidate.
Governor Aliyu’s mild drama asking his Jigawa counterpart, Sule Lamido to stand up for recognition before presenting the stance of the party governors to the NEC elicited laughter and banters.
Aliyu had said: “The PDP governors have decided to endorse Mr. President as sole candidate.
“It was taken without reservations, it was unanimous. We shall go into this election as a united front, to win more states than we have now. We have agreed to win back our mandate in Kano, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kwara and Rivers states.”
Reacting to the development, Jonathan who expressed his joy, promised not to disappoint the party, his supporters and Nigerians in general.
His words: “Let me really say that the events of yesterday, starting with BoT meeting last night and what has just happened today, 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 whatever anybody does, if not the NEC, you will be on your own.
”Adopting me as the sole candidate of the party has humbled me; I am totally overwhelmed. When the governors came up in a jointly signed paper, though House of Representatives started it, governors’ intervention was like an atomic bomb, I commend all departments of the NEC.
“I am so overwhelmed that I lack words to express myself. I leave it for another day. For today, for you to have that kind of confidence, I am extremely challenged. It means that whatever we had done in the past three years, we triple it. That is the only way Nigerians will appreciate it. I promise I will not disappoint you”.