The Publicity Secretary of the Lagos State chapter of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Taofeek Gani, on Tuesday, said that members of the party can still contest the presidential primaries, despite the decision of the National Executive Committee to adopt President Goodluck Jonathan as its sole candidate for the 2015 presidential election.
“Other members of the party still have the right to contest for the position”, he said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, adding that “this resolution by the NEC, BoT, Governors Forum, National Assembly Caucus of PDP is not compelling but persuasive.”
He, however, expressed his approval of the decision by the National Executive Committee of the party adopting the President as its sole candidate for the 2015 presidential elections.
He was also quick to remind “responsible and respectable” members of the party to “believe in the leadership of the party; they are presumed to be very knowledgeable and if they eventually come up with any decision, a loyal and committed member should agree with such persons.
“And that is why as a member of PDP, we should allow this to play out because the decision is not frivolous”, he said.
He noted that the party would have lost the candidate if they had not “adopted this model at this moment” adding that in politics there could be “agitation and lobbying; all these are allowed.
“If the party has zoned the presidency to the South and Northerners say they want to contest, they have the right under the constitution, which is superior to the party constitution, to contest.
“It happened during former President Obasanjo’s regime, when Late Abubakar Rimi insisted and he participated. So it is not like it (resolution by NEC) is compelling, it is persuasive and anybody who does not agree with it should come up with a superior argument”, he opined.
Mr Gani also noted that despite the adoption of the President by the party and his endorsement by various groups, the President can decline the offer and ask the party to seek an alternative, adding that for now “he (President) wants to manage every opinion before making his decision.”
On Thursday, September 18, the National Executive Committee of the ruling party endorsed President Jonathan as its sole presidential candidate in the 2015 general election.
The decision by the PDP executive committee leaves the coast clear for President Jonathan to contest without opposition by any member of the party. The rationale behind the decision was buttressed by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, of the party, Olisa Metuh, during a press conference.
PDP Releases Electoral Guideline
Meanwhile, the PDP has released a comprehensive electoral guideline for the 2015 general election.
The electoral guideline which has been approved by the party’s National Executive Committee, states that the presidential nomination form would be purchased for 20 million Naira in addition to an expression of interest form for two million Naira.
Nomination forms for governorship aspirants would cost 10 million Naira and a governorship aspirant must be nominated by 45 persons from the party.