President Goodluck Jonathan has told Governors under the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) that they must go with popular candidates who are capable of winning elections in 2015.
He advised against handpicking of candidates and suggested that flagbearers should be decided by consultation with leaders, elders, stakeholders and party members in the state, He also insisted that that primary elections should be held in all the states.
The Vanguard reports that the President told the Governors at a closed door meeting on Sunday.The Governors had called for the meeting in order to express their displeasure over the stoppage of consensus endorsement of their candidates ahead of 2015 general elections and their own candidature by the National Working Committee, NWC.
Present at the meeting were Olusegun Mimiko (Ondo State), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi State), Ibrahim Dankwambo (Gombe State) and Martin Elechi (Ebonyi).
Others were Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi), Liyel Imoke (Cross River) , Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Umar Garba (Acting Governor of Taraba) as well as the deputy governors of Sokoto and Nasarawa states.
The President was said to have told the governors that the party cannot afford to loose any state to the APC because of the presentation of unpopular candidates, adding that the Party was working towards winning the states that were presently being controlled by the opposition in addition to the PDP states and not having any one won by the APC because of wrong candidates.
The governors were said to have raised the issue of endorsement, automatic tickets for them especially those who were rounding off and warming up to come to the Senate, to ensure that their preferred successors get tickets as well as automatic tickets for first term governors.
Of the present nineteen PDP governor, those who are not rounding off their various tenure in office and want to come back for second term are governors Murktar Ramalan Yero of Kaduna State; the Acting Governor of Taraba State, Garba Umar; Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe; Henry Seriake-Dickson of Bayelsa; Capt. Idris Wada, the Present Adamawa State governor, Bala James Ngilari, among others.
Besides Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa; other governors of PDP who are outgoing have got the machinery of the party and some persons in their states to anoint them for the Senate. They are Governors Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom; Gabriel Suswam of Benue; Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta; Saidu Dakingari of Kebbi; Theodore Orji of Abia; Sullivan Chime of Enugu; Ibrahim Shema of Katsina; Isa Yuguda of Bauchi; Jonah Jang of Plateau and Babangida Aliyu of Niger.
This latest decision will further annoy the Governors having unanimously endorsed Jonathan as the party’s sole Presidential candidate; they expected that the President would give them such freedom to likewise pick their preferred candidate.