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PDP picks Jonathan as Yar’adua’s running mate

Posted by FRANCIS AWOWOLE – BROWNE, ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja, PAUL ORUDE Bauchi, ANDY ASEMOTA, Katsina on 2006/12/18 | Views: 1993 |

PDP picks Jonathan as Yar’adua’s running mate

Governor Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Bayelsa State was second time lucky Sunday as the Peoples Democratic Pary’s presidential candidate,Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’adua, picked him as running mate for next year’s election.

Governor Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of Bayelsa State was second time lucky Sunday as the Peoples Democratic Pary’s presidential candidate,Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’adua, picked him as running mate for next year’s election.

The choice of Jonathan, who rose to become governor following the removal of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha to whom he was deputy on December 12 last year, was announced by the party’s flagbeerer himself at the State House, Abuja, after a meeting of the party leaders and other stakeholders.
Yar’adua, in a brief speech at the end of the meeting said he chose the Bayelsa governor after wide consultations with the party and all concerned.

The accouncement, however, jolted political pundits and some of the Southern governor’s who contested the tickety with Yar’adua and had thought one of them would be picked for the slot.
Indeed, Governors Peter Odili (Rivers), Sam Egwu (Ebonyi) and Donald Duke (Cross River) had been tipped for the job.

But Daily Sun learnt that the party’s top hierarchy decided to zone it to the Niger Delta to pacify the zone which had mountd fierce agitation for the presidency in the process leading to last Saturday’s primaries. Although Governor Odili was said to have been highly favoured to run with Yar’adua, consideration of avoiding the kind of face-off President Obasnjo had with his deputy, Atiku Abubakar tilted the scale in favour of Jonathan, who was never in reckoning in the race for the presidency.
Sources told Daily Sun that Odili was seen as having “rather too strong personality,” which could lead to clashes with his principal when they get into office.

Governor Jonathan’s emergence has not only upset bookmakers’ predictions but underscored the lucky streak of a man with a modest ambition who fate would thrust on high pedestals in critical moments.
Until December 12, 2005 a mere deputy governor of a coastal but oil-rich state, he became governor following the impeachment of the former chief executive of the state indicted for corruption and money laundering.

He bidded for and secured his party’s nomination for re-election penultimate Saturday.
Sources also said he got the VP slot, which was zoned to the South South, because he was seen as President Olusegun Obasanjo’s strongest loyalist in the region.
Expressing surprise at his choice as Yar’adua’s running mate, Governor Jonathan said he saw ait as the will of God for his life and the nation.

Jonathan, who spoke through his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Welson Ekiyor, said his name had something to do with it, stressing that God wanted to use him to bring good luck to Nigeria.
Meanwhile, commendations have trailed the Peoples Democratic Party’s choice of Yar’adua as its presidential candidate in next year’s election.

President Olusegun Obasanjo described the emergence of Yar’adua as a celebration of democracy, saying that the process was transparent and democratic in nature.
Speaking Sunday morning shortly after the flagbearer delivered his acceptance speech, Obasanjo said that the party had hoped and prayed for a hitch-free and successful convention and that the outcome of the exercise was a vindication of its hope and prayers.

Turning towards Yar’adua and embracing him, Obasanjo said: “let me congratulate my brother who will be my worthy successor. I wish you all the prayers you will need to sail through the murky waters of Nigerian politics. We are a democratic party, we have shown it and we will continue to show it.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us. But if we can do this one successful now, then the task ahead of us can be achieved. Things will continue to be better, especially because this is not the beginning of a journey, but a continuation of a journey.”

In a statement issued in Abuja Sunday and signed by the director, media and publicity, Marwa Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Bola Bolawole, Brigadier General Buba who contested the ticket along with Yar’adua pledged his support and willingness to work to actualise the party's goal of winning the 2007 presidential election. He also congratulated the party for a successful and peaceful convention.

Dr. Marwa extended his hands of fellowship to the party's flagbearer and reiterated his belief that PDP will win the 2007 elections.
He restated his belief that power belongs to God who giveth it to whoever he pleases and then affirmed his loyalty and faithfulness to the party, its leadership and its goals so that the party could come out tops in the 2007 elections.

Gombe State Governor, Alhaji Muhammad Danjuma Goje, commended the PDP leadership for abiding by the gentleman agreement of power shift back to the North in 2007, saying that what happened before, during and after the exercise demonstrated that they were honourable people who could be trusted in anything, particularly, good leadership.

Goje described the primaries as the best thing that had ever happened in the political history of the country, as it could be adjugded the most transparent exercise that has shown that democracy has come to stay in Nigeria.

Speaking to Daily Sun shortly after the results were announced, the governor described the emergence of Umar Musa Yar'adua as the best for the party, describing him as the best candidate who could deliver the presidency.
Excitement ruled the air in Katsina, the state capital as many happy motorists took to the street from around 2.00am on Sunday, when it became clear that Governor Yar’adua was heading for victory in the PDP presidential primaries.

This set the stage for jubilation by a crowd of the city’s residents who, entertained by itinerant musicians, danced and sang from day break till afternoon.
Some who spoke to Daily Sun, expressed their joy, saying they were not surprised that Yar’adua clinched the PDP ticket..

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