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President’s victory: Atiku, others rule out court option

Former Military President Ibrahim, Babangida; ex-Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, and former National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Aliyu Gusau (retd.), have decided not to challenge the victory of President Goodluck Jonathan at the Peoples Democratic Party presidential primaries in court.

Investigations by our correspondent in Abuja on Wednesday showed that the three politicians took the decision at a meeting on Sunday.

The meeting was convened to enable them to discuss the conduct of the primaries on Thursday and Jonathan’s victory.

A member of the Northern Political Leaders Forum, who was privy to the meeting, said, “The three leaders agreed that whatever grievances they have should not be resolved through litigation.”

According to him, Babangida, Abubakar, and Gusau, who also expressed their commitment to the zoning arrangement in the PDP, did not, however, agree on the need to support Jonathan’s presidential quest.

It was learnt that while Babangida and Gusau were of the opinion that the President should be supported, Abubakar had not made up his mind.

“Babangida and Gusau are of the view that they should support Jonathan,” the NPLF member, who asked not to be named, said.

Babangida had on Friday congratulated the President on his emergence as the PDP presidential candidate.

Our source added that the former presidential aspirants resolved not to leave the PDP but to remain as loyal party men and to pursue their beliefs and principles from within the party.

When contacted, the spokesman to the former vice-president, Mallam Garba Shehu, confirmed that the three politicians met on Sunday and agreed not to challenge Jonathan’s victory in court.

A source in the Atiku Abubakar Campaign organisation had earlier on Wednesday denied that Babangida and Gusau had put pressure on Abubakar to accept the results of the primaries and congratulate Jonathan.

“The issue of congratulating the President was never discussed at the meeting so the story of pressure on Atiku is a mere figment of some peoples’ imagination,” he said.

The Director-General of Goodluck Sambo Campaign Organisation, Mr. Sully Abu, said the President was ready to meet the three politicians.

He said that Jonathan had always believed that all aspirants were members of the PDP, and they should come together to ensure the victory of the party.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the PDP has begun moves to ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission did not reject its list of candidates for the April elections.

Though the party on Tuesday mandated its new Acting National Chairman, Dr. Mohammed Bello, to endorse all the candidates , the leadership of the party still felt that a court order by an Anambra High Court could be used against it in the future.

The court had on January 14 restrained any other person apart from the party’s former National Chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, from signing and endorsing the list of candidates.

It gave the order following an application by Senator Annie Okonkwo and Chika Anyanwu. It also adjourned the matter till January 20 (today).

With the order, political analysts argued that the PDP might have a problem sending the names of its candidates, including that of Jonathan and his running mate, Alhaji Namadi Sambo, to INEC.

The National Legal Adviser of the party, Chief Olusola Oke, said the leadership of the party was aware of this development.

He, however, added that the party was already making moves to vacate the order in order to ensure that all the names to be submitted to the commission would be accepted without any legal encumbrance.

“We are aware of the order and we are making every legal move to discharge it. In otherwords, we shall use all legal means to vacate the order,” Oke said.

Also on Wednesday, the Chairman of the Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said that the PDP was a party led by ‘bankrupt, irrelevant and desperate’ politicians who are unable to show exemplary conduct.

Musa, who was reacting to the resignation of Dr. Nwodo on Tuesday as the PDP national chairman, said, “They are not capable of showing example because they are so bankrupt, irrelevant and desperate to keep power even at the cost of the nation.’’

He attributed the frequent changes in the PDP leadership to the “blind obedience’’ the party seeks from its national chairmen.

The former governor of old Kaduna State spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria.

He said, “What I mean is that the PDP wants somebody to be so subservient that he doesn’t have his own opinion about how things should be done in the party.’’

Musa, who is also the Peoples Republican Party governorship candidate in Kaduna State, added that the total submission that the PDP always demanded from its leadership was not humanly possible.

“Now it is not humanly possible to get that level of subservience that the PDP wishes. This party is desperate, so desperate that they want a blind obedience which is not possible,’’ he said.

-Punch

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Posted by on Jan 19 2011. Filed under Goodluck Jonathan (2010-present), 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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