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Jonathan in endorsement spree

Dr Goodluck Jonathan at the 13th Holy Ghost Congress organised by Redeemed Christian Church of God, along Lagos Ibadan Expressway . Photo Kehinde Gbadamosi

Of the 94 PDP senators in the upper chambre of the National Assembly, Sunday Vanguard learnt that no fewer than 75 had pledged to support the president in his bid to clinch the presidential ticket of their party.

By the constitution of the PDP, senators, members of the House of Representatives as well as governors are automatic delegates to the convention of the party for the election of the party’s presidential flag bearer.

According to a source at the Senate, the endorsement of Jonathan followed the campaign and lobbying by his coordinator in the chambre, who had been working for the president even before he became the substantive president.

The source said: “After the endorsement by the governors, we felt that we should also have a commitment of the senators who are automatic delegates to the convention. Our leader worked hard to convince our colleagues and the effort has paid off. We have seventy five senators who have endorsed the candidacy of Dr Goodluck Jonathan and we are proud of his efforts.”

When contacted, the leaders of the senators rooting for Jonathan, Senator Bariagba Nimi Amange, would neither confirm nor deny the story, saying, “By Monday, we will talk about it. I am in Port-Harcourt for my daughter’s wedding now.”

In documents seen by Sunday Vanguard, the breakdown indicated that sixteen senators from the south south, eleven from the south west and fourteen from the south east endorsed the president’s candidacy.

The rest are thirteen from the north central, eleven from the north west and ten from the north east.
They all signed the documents conveying their endorsement of Jonathan.

At the Kaduna meeting where 844 delegates from the North/West Zone of the PDP adopted the joint candidature of Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo for the 2011 polls, Senator Sahabi Yau Kaura, from Zamfara State, moved the motion for the adoption of the joint ticket and seconded by a member of the House of Representatives from Lere constituency of Kaduna State, Hon. Saudatu Sani.

The governors of Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Zamfara, and Kebbi states as well as Jonathan and Sambo were present.
Addressing the delegates, Jonathan said, “Next year, the country is going to conduct general elections for all elective offices and myself and my vice president are interested.

“We feel that it is only proper for us to come and sensitize you, not just to wait until you come to Abuja.
“We feel it is better for us to come to the zones, everyone has some unique attributes, certain needs of the zone, certain expectations of the zone and we feel that if we interact at the zonal level before we come to Abuja, it will be better.

“So our coming today is to sensitize you, to tell you that two of us are interested to continue to run the affairs of this country as president and vice for the next four years and that we want you to support us because we are totally committed to make changes.”

One term, constitutional reform
In the meantime, President Jonathan remains committed to one term only if returned to office in the 2011 polls in line with his promise to the PDP governors which led to their endorsement of his candidature for the forthcoming presidential election at a meeting last week, Presidency sources told Sunday Vanguard yesterday.

Providing more insight into the president’s meeting with the.governors and top leaders ofthe ruling party, the sources said Jonathan would stick to the ‘one-term only promise’, which, they claimed their principal made out of his belief in peace in the PDP.

“The one-term only promise is even being planned to be a major campaign plank of the president because he wants to be seen as absolutely committed to the promise,” one of the Presidency sources stated.

Jonathan was said to have shown considerable concern about the bad blood his interest in the presidential race had generated within the rank and file of the PDP, leading him to make the promise. Sunday Vanguard learnt that the president was even thinking already about how contest for political offices including the presidency would cease to generate bad blood in the post-20ll era.

“President Jonathan is pondering a constitutional reform if returned to office in 2011 whereby the president serves for a single term of seven years only rather than two terms of four years each to halt the kind of conflict that we presently face”, the source said.

The source added that most of the PDP governors at last week’s meeting with the president agreed with Jonathan on the need for peace in the party ahead of the polls to enhance its chances. “Governors Saraki, Goje, Imoke, Akpabio, Sylva, speaking in that order, commended the courageous way the president spoke.”

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Posted by on Dec 18 2010. Filed under Presidency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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