JONATHAN'S DECLARATION: What the governors said

VANGUARD Newspaper

At the Eagle Square where all but one of the 29 governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) attended the declaration of President Goodluck Jonathan to contest for the presidential nomination of PDP presidential ticket. The only governor that did not attend is Dr. Bukola Saraki of Kwara state. His absence was expected because he is rival to Jonathan in the race for the PDP presidential. Each of

the governors in attendance was allowed to speak for only two minutes each, mainly because of time constraints. While some of the governors clearly declared their support and that of their states for Jonathan, others simply mouthed some rethorics and refused to comment on the Jonathan/Sambo ticket, which was the issue of the day. It was political doublespeak at its best.
Gabriel Suswam (Benue)
Suswam was the first to speak, being also the North- central states coordinator of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation. He started by assuring President Jonathan of the support of Benue State for his presidential aspiration. Suswam commended his colleagues governors of PDP for their massive turn out at the Declaration rally. Thereafter, he said that the presidential aspiration of Jonathan was historical because it marks the contribution of the major ethnic tribe in the sustained unity and progress of Nigeria as a sovereign nation.

Theodore Orji (Abia)
Next to speak was the newest member of the party, Governor Theodore Orji, who recently defected from the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) to the PDP. His speech at the rally was mainly musical, when he sang as Christian song, where he described President Jonathan as a winner and as such, “a winner man will always win irrespective of the odds” He sang to the admiration of all and the Eagle Square was electrified by his song.

Murtala Nyako (Adamawa)
Admiral Muritala Nyako was present at a similar declaration by General Ibrahim Babangida at the same venue last Wednesday, when he mounted the rostrum to speak, most of the people at the rally were suspicious of what he would say. He took the microphone and simply said, “PDP has made the right decision. Goodluck to all of us.”

Isa Yuguda (Bauchi)
The next governor to speak was Jonathan’s Zonal Coordinator in the Northeast, Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi state. According to him, the aspiration of President Jonathan to be elected in the 2011 polls was a payback time by the North to the South in view of the support the South has made towards the sustenance of Nigeria.
He pledged that Bauchi State would give 100 percent support to President Jonathan. Yuguda also urged his colleague-governors to replicate same in the overall unity of Nigeria. His speech got a thunderous ovation at the rally. Yuguda, son-in-law of former president Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, ended his brief speech with assurances that Bauchi State will deliver a 100 percent votes to President Jonathan both at the PDP national convention and at the 2011 presidential election.

Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa)
Governor Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa State, the President’s home state was the next to speak. Hitherto, it was being speculated that he is one of the anti-Jonathan elements in the state, but his presence and what he said doused the belief that he could be working against the presidential aspiration of his kinsman. In his speech, Sylva commended the other governors for the support they have given to President Jonathan. He concluded his brief comments with a prayer that the glory of God will continue to shine on all those that are supporting the presidential aspiration of Jonathan, “because you have done this, your life will never be the same.”

Akwe Doma (Nasarawa)
Governor Akwe Doma of Nasarawa State, in his speech assured Jonathan of 100 percent votes and support from Nasarawa State, saying, “We shall vote Goodluck and our support is total. We are for Goodluck and not for the bad one,” he said.

Danbaba Suntai (Taraba)
Governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba state merely said, “We declared our support for Goodluck”.

Idris Ibrahim (Kogi)
Governor Idris Ibrahim of Kogi State said in fewer than 20 seconds: “On behalf of the people of Kogi State, we have agreed to vote Goodluck Jonathan.”

Saidu Dakingari (Kebbi)
The Kebbi state governor, Dankingari, though one of those known to oppose the aspiration of President Jonathan in the coming PDP presidential primary, just said, “May good luck follow us.”

Patrick Yakowa (Kaduna)
Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State in his comments assured President Jonathan and Vice President Sambo of 100 percent support from his state, assuring Nigerians that the ticket is one that would never be regretted by Nigerians as it is a symbol of God being in control of the affairs in Nigeria.

Sule Lamido (Jigawa)
Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State known to be among northern governors opposed to the aspiration of President Jonathan, just said, “PDP is a family. There is nothing like a northern candidate or a southern candidate. The president that would emerge is a candidate of the Nigerian State. Whosoever emerges would be presented to Nigerians as candidate of the PDP because the party is a united family.”

Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers)
Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi in his own speech announced the support of the people of the state to President Jonathan. He said the aspiration of President Jonathan is an aspiration that is sponsored by both Rivers and Bayelsa States and therefore has all the support of Rivers state.

E.Uduaghan (Delta)
His Delta state colleague, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan appealed to Nigerians and particularly all Deltans to register en masse so as to enable them vote for President Jonathan at the appropriate time. He assured the President and his running mate of the support of Delta State for their presidential aspiration.

Danjuma Goje (Gombe)
Governor Danjuma Goje of Gombe State in his brief comment commented that rally was one of the best attended of the series of rallies that he has seen and attended. He said that action speaks louder than voice and from what he has seen the people have spoken. He said Gombe state is for Jonathan.

Jonah Jang (Plateau)
Plateau State governor, Jonah Jang just said, “we are for Jonathan and the matter is a settled matter in heaven.”

Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto)
Sokoto state governor Aliyu Wammako took time to preach for the unity of the country and in a non committal statement said, “ we shall remain strong as a nation and united.”

Sullivan Chime (Enugu)
Sullivan Chime of Enugu said that his state is 100 percent a PDP state and therefore the state has endorsed the presidential aspiration of the President. He appealed to his colleagues to ensure that Jonathan is elected the presidential candidate of the party and eventually elected the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria next year. According to Chime, “for good governance and good infrastructure, please vote Jonathan.”

Martins Elechi (Ebonyi)
Jonathan’s coordinating chairman for South-east states, Governor Martin Elechi described the rally as a defining moment in the annals of Nigeria as he has never seen such a mammoth crowd, in which Nigerians came out enmass to call on one man to rule them.
According to him, “never in the history of this country have I seen where Nigerians speak in unison calling on one man to govern them. I have never seen such a clamour. President Jonathan is a gift from God to Nigerians. President Jonathan will not annul any election, nor would he discriminate against Nigerians on the basis of tribe or religion. He has a listening ear.”

Segun Oni (Ekiti)
Ekiti State governor, Segun Oni in his comment said the rally was the beginning of what he called the Nigerian Project which must not be allowed to fail. According to him, “what Nigeria needs at this moment is a team work that would move the country forward to the promise land.” He assured the gathering of the Ekiti State’s support for the Jonathan/Sambo ticket.

Adebayo Alao-Akala (Oyo)
Governor Alao Akala of Oyo State is solidly behind the presidential aspiration of President Jonathan. He coined a new name for the President, calling him, “Jonathan Ebele Goodluck Azikiwe (JEGA).”

O.Oyinlola (Osun)
Osun State governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola simply said, “We in Osun state stand by the collective decision of the Southwest state taken last month in Ibadan to support the presidential aspiration of President Goodluck Jonathan. We shall support the Goodluck/Sambo ticket.”

Gbenga Daniel (Ogun)
On the same line of support, the Ogun state governor, Gbenga Daniel said, “President Goodluck Jonathan is our President today. He would be our President tomorrow. From what you have seen, the people have spoken and they have spoken well. I stand here to affirm the stand, the decision taken by the South-west zone in that on true federalism we stand. The Jonathan/Sambo ticket is a symbol of true federalism what they connote is true federalism.”

Ibrahim Shema (Katsina)
Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State in his speech preached unity and oneness of Nigeria. According to him, “be it north, east, south and west, we all belong to one family in the PDP. Be it North-west, North-east, North central or South-south, South-east or South-west, what we are looking for is service delivery based on equity, fairness and justice. This is the time for a new era in Nigeria and we must come together as a nation to make the necessary progress.”

Babangida Aliyu (Niger)
Governor Aliyu of Niger state was one of the governors that attended the September 15 declaration of General Babangida and therefore, his presence raised some doubts. He however responded thus in his speech, “ I came here on Wednesday (referring to his presence at the Eagle square when he attended the IBB rally). People will be wondering what I am doing here today. Politics is all about dialogue, negotiation. I have been mandated to negotiate. Nigeria is for all of us. We must negotiate and dialogue to produce the next President. We believe in the politics of unity. We don’t want the Cameroon treatment.”

Aliyu Shinkafi (Zamfara)
Zamfara State governor, Aliyu Shinkafi in his brief speech simply said, “I associate myself with what the Chief Servant of Niger state have just said.” What Nigeria needs is unity.”

Ikedi Ohakim (Imo)
Governor Ikedi Ohakim simply said “we support you and Thank God for you.” He also raised a song in Igbo language.

Liyel Imoke (Cross River)
The zonal coordinating chairman of the Jonathan Campaigns in the Southsouth, Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River state assured everybody present that his state is totally in support of Jonathan’s presidency. He said the party is in total control. According to him, “today PDP has produced the President and the Vice President. For the next coming 50 years, let it be part of the presidency we are proud of . Let us use the Jonathan and Sambo Presidency to begin the journey to the next 50 years. The ticket will unite Nigeria forever. Cross River state is 100 percent in total support of the Janathan/Sambo ticket.”

G.Akpabio (Akwa Ibom)
Governor Godswill Akpabio in his comment commended the developmental projects embarked upon by President Jonathan in his short stay in office. He said that a vote for Jonathan will help deepen democracy in Nigeria. He therefore assured that Akwa Ibom state will vote the Jonathan/Sambo ticket 100 percent. He said with the Jonathan/Sambo presidency that the era of militancy would become history. He also said that he is happy that his brother governors have spoken with one voice as “there is no wayo here”.

Dimeji Bankole (Speaker, House of Representatives)
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Dimeji Bankole in his speech said that “on behalf of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives we are in support of the aspiration of President Jonathan” He reminded the audience that the National Assembly was the House that first confirmed Jonathan as President.

D.Mark (Senate President)
Senate President, David Mark who spoke in the same line of thought like the Speaker of the House of Representatives, said it was the National Assembly that used the doctrine of necessity to confirm Jonathan as acting president when it looked as if there would be a constitutional crisis. According to him, “ you don’t plant a tree and leave it. When you plant a tree, you nurture the tree. We shall make sure that the tree grows into fruition.”

The Senate President also said that the National Assembly would prefer to work with a President that would translate its policies into action, stating that Jonathan/Sambo is that ticket. “If you are patience, you will get good luck.”


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