Ahead of the 2015 general elections, PresidentGoodluck Jonathan and Governors seeking re-election under the umbrella of the ruling PeoplesDemocratic Party (PDP) may get automatic tickets to run for second term.
Top politicians and senior presidency officials were seriously working round the clock to give Jonathan and other Governors the right of first refusal that will be followed by the declaration of their candidacy at the party’s convention.
With this, the serving president and Governors would automatically become the flag bearer of their party during elections without any primary election, as it is the situation in the United States of America, from where Nigeria copied the presidential system of government it is practising.
If it works out, President Jonathan and the Governors of Kwara, Gombe, Kogi and Bayelsa States would not face any party primary because all they would need to do is to indicate interest for a second term in office.
According to a presidency source: “Mark my words, there would be no presidential primary election in 2015 to choose the presidential candidate for the PDP. What we will have is just an affirmation congress.
“This is, however, subject to President Jonathan accepting to contest for the office of the president in the 2015 presidential election. The same would be applicable to governors elected on the platform of the party seeking a second term in office.
“We are working on the modalities for this, because there is the absolute need to allow the president and the governors concerned to remain focused to deliver the necessary dividends of democracy.
“There is no need to waste time and funds in organising presidential or governorship primaries for a serving president and governors. PDP must show the way in deepening our democracy by reducing rancour within the party and allow the president and all concerned to concentrate on their official duties without any distraction.”
We learnt that the option of first refusal would have great implications for Governors of the party nursing presidential or vice-presidential ambition in 2015.
According to the source, “we are aware of the said presidential ambition of some of the governors like Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State and Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State and the vice-presidential ambitions of Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State and Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom.
“The PDP is not worried about all these permutations. What is important is how to achieve unity and deliver unity within PDP to enable it to tackle the opposition political parties.”
The source further added that: “Even when they opt out and join the opposition parties, would the presidential tickets be given to them automatically? The opposition will see them as part and parcel of the PDP and therefore will not give their presidential tickets to them automatically,” the source revealed.