President Goodluck Jonathan casting his vote at the PDPpresidential primary election in Abuja on Wednesday… Photo Sunday Aghaeze
- Party amends constitution, Obasanjo absent from convention
By Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Special National Convention of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in early hours of today, ratified President Goodluck Jonathan as the consensus presidential candidate of the party for the February 14, 2015 presidential election.
This came on the heels of a similar ratification last night by the delegates of the party of Adamu Mu’azu as the party’s national chairman, Wale Oladipo as the national secretary and Wole Adeyanju as the national auditor.
The chairman of the convention, former Senate President Ken Nnamani, who announced the results of the votes cast by the delegates, said the president got 2,812 votes.
Nnamani commended the delegates and asked the deputy chairman of the convention Chief Tom Ikimi to read out the results on a state-by-state basis, adding that the exercise was hitch free.
Some of the “Yes” votes were as follows: Delta 40, Bayelsa 99, Katsina 119, Edo 51, Ogun 55, Gombe 74, Kano 104, Nasarawa 55, Imo 107, Kebbi 83, Niger 92, Enugu 94, Yobe 20, Sokoto 59, Bauchi 87, Kwara 40, Kogi 81, Zamfara 51, Rivers 69, Ondo 78, Plateau 68, Lagos, 47, Borno 47, Cross River 138, Benue 99 and FCT 27.
Nnamani said having scored more than two-thirds of the votes cast, the president had been returned as the PDP consensus presidential candidate for the 2015 election.
Before the president’s endorsement, the party’s delegates had ratified the appointment of Mu’azu, Oladipo and Adeyanju as the national chairman, national secretary and national auditor, respectively, of the party.
Announcing the outcome of the voting process, which led to their endorsement by the PDP, Nnamani, who announced the total tally of the votes cast after Ikimi had read the votes from each state, said Mu’azu got 2,672 votes, 11 votes were voided while eight were cancelled.
Following the announcement of the results, Mu’azu, Oladipo and Adeyanju took the oath of office.
During the convention, the party also amended its constitution. Benue State Governor, Gabriel Suswam read the motion for the amendment of the party’s constitution, which was seconded by the Minister of State for Power, Mohammed Wakil.
Also, the National Legal Adviser of the PDP, Victor Kwom moved the motion for the adoption of the party’s manifesto for the 2015 general election.
Earlier, Nnamani read out the details and procedures for the convention, explaining that it was aimed at filling the existing vacancies and ratifying the presidential candidate of the party, Jonathan.
“It is not undemocratic that we have only one aspirant. Others who were aspirants stepped down to support a single aspirant in the person of President Goodluck Jonathan,” he said.
He said the convention was in line with Section 133 of the constitution, adding, “We are going to vote yes or no. To make it easier, the delegates will use perforated papers of yes and no and the delegates are expected to tear out the one that is appropriate
“The results will be announced at state level and later collated at the national level. The offices that are applicable in this convention are the national secretary, national auditor and national chairman.”
He went on to read out the names of the returning and presiding officers for all the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), led by a national commissioner, observed the exercise.
Jonathan and the Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, Muazu and the Deputy National Chairman, Uche Secondus had led other members of the National Working Committee to the convention.
However, PDP chieftain, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has been hobnobbing with the leaders of the opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC) and had just released his revealing autobiography “My Watch”, in which he said Jonathan lacked the capacity to rule, was unsuprisingly absent from the convention.
With the ratification of Mu’azu and Oladipo, both NWC officials have been empowered to sign the nomination papers of the PDP presidential candidate and his running mate before submitting them to INEC.
PDP, like other political parties, has up to December 18, 2014 to submit the names of its presidential candidate and running mate and other categories of candidates seeking elective offices.
At 6.10 pm, the Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda, had led the president to the Bayelsa State stand to cast his vote for the ratification of Mu’azu, Oladipo and Adeyanju.
Subsequently, other dignitaries went to their various state stands to cast their votes.
After announcing the outcome of the voting, Nnamani declared that the votes cast were far in excess of the two-thirds required, hence the party’s constitution stood amended.