2011 PRESIDENCY: KADUNA PDP ENDORSES JONATHAN, SAMBO
Rising from its party stakeholders meeting in Kaduna, the state PDP contended that having deliberated on the burning issues of the time, it had concluded that 'the Goodluck Jonathan ticket is the perfect choice for the country prepared to tackle the leadership challenges that face our people, not only in 2011 but far beyond.'
The forum noted that the people of the South-South had always stood shoulder to shoulder with, and supported Northern aspirations to leadership of the country in very remarkable ways, 'hence the need to support Jonathan for 2011.'
First to set the ball rolling at the gathering was the state PDP chairman, Usman Sa'in Jama'a, who prepared the ground for the endorsement and also stated the position of the party.
According to Jama'a, 'other states have met before now and presented their position and we, in Kaduna State, are the most at an advantage more than any other state, because of what we have here that other states don't have. We have a brand new Vice President from Kaduna State, we have brand new Governor in Kaduna State, we have a brand new Deputy Governor all from Kaduna State.'
'In terms of zoning and who should contest for the presidency in 2011, because that is why we are all here, we are going to take a position after all the people here have spoken because we are all members of the PDP and we are one.
'Let it be said that no matter the position taken by anybody for or against zoning, what Nigerians want is a credible leadership. A credible leader can only emerge when the people of the country are allowed to choose for themselves the leader that will rule them. These can only happen when there is a credible elections in the country.
'We, therefore, call on every stakeholder in this debate to be sincere, honest transparent and also have the fear of God. Why should we always want to have somebody from that zone, especially in the North?'
The PDP state chairman then said the fear of the North was how to have a leader that would tackle poverty and physical development and marginalization, saying 'the answers to all these problems are President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo.'
Governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa said the endorsement of the President had made his work easy when the Northern Governors meet today in Kaduna as the people of the state and the party had told him what to tell his governor colleagues.
Yakowa said he was happy with the unity of purpose with which the the stakeholders in the state spoke: 'It is God that brought the present situation to bear and I will pass on the position of the state to the Northern Governors Forum.'
He called on Jonathan and Sambo to be rest assured that the PDP would deliver Kaduna State to them in 2011 and other elections in the state.
Meanwhile, the northern governors have concluded arrangement for today's meeting, barring any last change. They are expected to make their position on the issue of zoning formally known at the end of the meeting.
Daily Sun confirmed from one of the governor's aides that the meeting had been confirmed, just as our findings in Kaduna also revealed that some of the advance parties from the various states had already arrived Kaduna.
Sources said as a way of dousing the tension generated by the zoning debate, the governors may shy away from the issue of zoning, since it was a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) affair.
Of the19 northern governors, only three are of the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), the rest are of the PDP.
The meeting, which was earlier slated for last Thursday, was hurriedly postponed as some prominent Northern leaders, spitting fire, described the Northern governors and their National Assembly counterparts as a disgrace.
The Northern leaders, under the umbrella of the Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF), who described zoning as 'a time bomb' after their meeting last week were also quoted to have threatened to dump the PDP.
Leader of the NPLF, Ambassador Yahya Kwande, who addressed the newsmen in Jos, Plateau State, after the meeting was not categorical about President Goodluck Jonathan's rumoured ambition.
He just warned that any attempt to introduce ethnic, sectional or religious sentiment into the matter would be resisted, explaining that 'all we are saying is that it is only morally right to respect an agreement whether written or unwritten, formal or informal especially when the agreement is for the good of all.'