With over 3,000 party delegates at Eagles Square in Abuja today, venue of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention, there will be two major items up for consideration Premium Times reports.
The first, is the validation of President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s sole candidate for the 2015 election, and second, the confirmation of the appointment of Ahmadu Muazu as the party’s national chairman.
The first will be a first for the party that has ruled Nigeria since 1999.
This would be the first time in the history of the party that it would be putting up a single candidate prior to its presidential primaries.
During the 1999 election, Olusegun Obasanjo, who eventually picked the ticket, had to battle with former Vice President Alex Ekweme and other contestants at a convention that held in Jos, Plateau State, February 1999.
In 2003, Mr. Obasanjo ran against late Abubakar Rimi, while in 2006, late President Umaru Yar’adua defeated 11 other aspirants to emerge as PDP candidate.
In 2011, it was a battle between President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Atiku Abubakar. President Goodluck defeated Atiku by a landslide.
The ruling party is taking a different line of action.
All the organs of the party, except, the national convention, which is the highest organ of the party, have adopted the President as a sole candidate.
Although, the NEC of the party at its meeting on September 18 adopted President Goodluck, the party’s National Working Committee, was forced to allow other candidates, Abduljalil Tafawa Balewa, and Akasoba Duke Abiola who were willing to challenge the Mr. Jonathan in today’s convention.
The President and Balewa appeared before the party’s screening committee, but Mrs. Abiola did not. She also did not honour the NWC’s call to go to the party’s secretariat to pick her form, since she had paid for them.
Balewa announced later he was withdrawing from the race the day he submitted his nomination forms.
As it stands, the national convention is expected to ratify the President as PDP sole candidate.
President Jonathan was deputy governor to Diepreye Alamieyeseigha from May 29, 1999 to December, 9, 2005 when he was sworn in as substantive governor, after Mr. Alamieyeseigha’s impeachment over corruption charge.
President Jonathan and Umar Yar’adua were “handpicked” by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as vice president and president respectively in the 2007 election.
Mr. Jonathan assumed the presidency after Yar’adua’s death. He later won election in 2011.
The president’s tenure has witnessed several unresolved scandals and controversies however PDP insists he is the best candidate.
But Mr. Jonathan has come up for some of the most woeful assessments over his failure to deal with rampaging corruption in the country, and the bloody onslaught by insurgent group, Boko Haram, which has seized several towns.