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12 govs meet in Yola over Jonathan – Jonathan Flags off Campaign in Ibadan

TWELVE state governors drawn from the South-South, South-East, North-Central and the North-East,

on Sunday rose from a crucial meeting in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, as part of the ongoing consultations and dialogue bordering on major political, economic and social issues critical to the election of President Goodluck Jonathan in the forthcoming April presidential polls.

The Yola meeting, which is an expansion of the Asaba Foundation meeting, facilitated by the governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, and the third in a series. The second edition, which was held in Ilorin, was to build on the resolutions reached at the earlier meeting in Delta State.

The Yola meeting, which lasted about seven hours and was held behind closed doors at the Adamawa Government House, had in attendance Governors Murtala Nyako of Adamawa; Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta); Danjuma Goje (Gombe); Isa Yuguda (Bauchi); Theodore Orji (Abia); Peter Obi (Anambra); Liyel Imoke (Cross River); Sullivan Chime (Enugu); Ikedi Ohakim (Imo); Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa); Martin Elechi (Ebonyi) and the Taraba State governor, Danbaba Suntai.

Sources at the meeting hinted that the meeting focused on the imperatives of national unity amidst frightening spate of flashes of violence across the country and the need to foster a nationalistic political, social and economic strategy to contain rising tensions and build a national consensus ahead of the April polls.

The source said the governors, who were trying to build a broad-based national coalition in support of President Jonathan’s presidential bid in April, believed that there was need for rapprochement and constant sharing of information as necessary ingredient for national development.

Speaking on behalf of colleagues on Sunday night, Governor Obi of Anambra State said the meeting was a continuation of earlier initiatives. He said, the meeting discussed key issues of reconciliation in politics, peace and security on the agenda.

He said there were ongoing consultations to achieve a consensus. He said: “We met today to discuss the unity of this country and the need to live together as one country, one people. We discussed national security and issues of economic growth. We are moving to North-West.”

Meanwhile, President Jonathan, on Sunday, promised that members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who lost out in the recent primaries, would be accommodated.

Appealing to them not to leave the party because of their losses, the president said: “I advise people who did not secure their tickets not to feel bad and, therefore, want to leave the party. Even if you are not a candidate today, you will be one tomorrow. It is anti-party to leave PDP and pick ticket from another party only to return to the PDP; you should rather remain there.”

Speaking at a dinner organised in honour of members of his campaign organisation led by Dr Sarki Tafida at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, on Saturday night, he admonished that leaving the party after election defeat would amount to anti-party activity.

President Jonathan announced that the campaign organisation had been formally dismantled to pave way for a larger structure to be put in place by the party.

According to him, the establishment of a campaign structure by the party would be the beginning of the real campaign.

President Jonathan advised the party faithful not to indulge in campaign of calumny but rather they should focus on issues.

The president thanked Nigerians, particularly state governors, for their efforts, cooperation and contributions to ensure victory at the presidential primary.

Also speaking, Vice-President Namadi Sambo called on party members to join hands to ensure the collective victory of the party at the general election.

In his remarks, Senate President, Mr David Mark, urged those who could not get the party tickets to emulate Hillary Clinton of the United States of America by joining winners to campaign for the victory of the party.

State governors, including Liyel Imoke of Cross River; Ibrahim Shema of Kastina; Gabriel Suswam of Benue and Martin Elechi of Ebonyi, spoke, in their speeches, said the president had, so far, shown a high level of patriotism, capacity and ability to govern the country.

They expressed confidence in his ability to guarantee the much-needed peace in the country, as well as opening up a new vista that would allow equal opportunities to all Nigerians.

The acting chairman of PDP, Alhaji Bello Haliru, in his address, said primaries were only a competition and not a crisis, adding that those who vied for the positions knew that only one candidate would win.
He, therefore, appealed to everyone in the party to come on board and support the campaign train.

The occasion was witnessed by a former vice-president, Chief Alex Ekwueme, among many other party chieftains.

Meanwhile, the South-West PDP has inaugurated six committees to receive President Jonathan, who takes his presidential campaign train to Ibadan, Oyo State, tomorrow.

The zonal legal officer of the party, Mr Waheed Lawal, told newsmen in Ibadan, on Sunday, that logistics for a rousing welcome for Jonathan and his campaign team had been put in place by the zonal working committee of the party.

He mentioned the committees to include mobi-lisation, security and publicity, which had the zonal chairman, Alhaji Taju-deen Oladipo, the host governor, Chief Adebayo Alao-Akala and his Ogun State counterpart, Chief Gbenga Daniel, as heads.

He said the presidential rally would afford the people of the zone the opportunity to have a one-on-one interaction with the president.

– Tribune

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