2015: PDP to adopt Jonathan as court rules president can contest

by | March 4, 2013 5:00 pm



With the emergence of Tony Anenih as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ruling People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), the party may dump national convention to pick its presidential candidate for 2015 general election.

Party sources told BusinessDay that the party will instead opt for affirmation to ratify the candidacy of President Goodluck Jonathan for the general election in 2015.

Sources disclosed that no party member would contest against President Jonathan in 2015 and hence the statement credited to national chairman of the party Bamanga Tukur that Jonathan can seek re-election.

An Abuja High court presided by Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi, weekend ruled that President Jonathan is constitutionally qualified to re-contest the presidency in 2015 and the leadership of the Party swiftly responded to hail the ruling.

Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State had claimed President Jonathan signed a pact with the PDP governors that he would serve one term but the presidency has vehemently denied the existence of such a pact.

Sources however disclosed that the presidency may have ‘settled’ supposed opponents of President Jonathan who may want to contest against him in 2015.

Olisa Metu, the national publicity secretary of the party, in the reaction to the ruling of the FCT High court said “the leadership of the PDP applauds the ruling by the FCT High Court that President Goodluck Jonathan, as a Nigerian, has the constitutionally guaranteed right to seek re-election in 2015.

“This landmark ruling is yet another victory to the nation’s democracy. It has laid to rest the unnecessary debate on whether or not the President is constitutionally eligible to seek re-election in 2015.

“The court held that President Jonathan is in his first term, which commenced on the 29th of May, 2011 and thus is free to seek a second term in office in the 2015 general election under the platform of the PDP or any other political party.

“The import of this judgment is that it is now left for the PDP as party and Nigerians to decide, through legitimate processes, whether or not to return President Jonathan to the Presidency in 2015 if he indicates interest.

“With the ruling, it is now left for the President, the PDP and the people to decide and not for some people to try to stop others from exercising their constitutionally guaranteed rights through intimidations and harassment”, the party said.

TUNJI OLAWUNI, Abuja