Nigeria: Yar’Adua Will Run in 2011, Says PDP

Chuks Okocha 

Abuja — One week after Senator Adamu Aliero, Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), said President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua would seek re-election in 2011, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday came out to confirm the development. The party artued that the seven-point agenda was designed to be implemented within a time frame of eight years.

This is coming as the party said it would consider granting automatic tickets to experienced and performance-oriented elected officials of the party in the National Assembly. 

Speaking in an interview with journalists in Abuja, the Deputy National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Mohammed Harilu Bello, said: “President Yar’Adua is entitled to four years in office. That four years will end by 2011 and by the grace of God, he will seek a second term in office to make it eight years, because his seven-point agenda is designed to be implemented within a time frame of eight years.

“He is entitled to a second term in office and by the grace of God, there is nothing on ground to stop him. The PDP structure is on ground for his second term in office. There is nothing to indicate that he will not contest for the second term in office when the time comes.”

The Deputy National Chairman expressed the support of the party for the second term of President Yar’Adua, declaring: “We shall offer him a 100 per cent support when the time comes. I can assure you that the PDP structures will afford him the second term when the time comes.”

On whether the party’s position on the Electoral Reforms was in line with the recommendations of the Government White Paper, he said: “It is important to state that the white paper may not necessarily be what the party wants, but as a party that believes in the rule of law and due process, we have accepted, if there is anything else, it shall be at the National Assembly. But PDP is still studying the reports of the electoral reforms.”

Bello, who was emphatic on the electoral chances of the party said: “Nigerians have to accept PDP as the party that will lead the country to its promised land.”

Also speaking to the PDP caucus members of the House of Representatives in a meeting yesterday, the National Chairman, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, said the National Working Committee (NWC) would ensure that the training, experience and exposures garnered by the PDP members at the National Assembly would not be in vain.

He said the party had discussed this position with the President and his approval received, explaining that the party was not happy over the changing of experienced members of the National Assembly.

According to Ogbulafor, “This party’s NWC is not happy with the rate of turnaround of honourable members and senators and we along with the President have agreed that as much as possible during election, for the experience you have gathered, for the exposures you have, for the contacts you have, for the training you have received and when it is time we should tap your knowledge suddenly you are changed.

“We also said that the next election the tide will come from this NWC.”

The PDP governors and members of the National Assembly had earlier requested automatic second term tickets. The governors said that it would help in the reduction of tension in the polity.

The meeting with the members of the PDP caucus in the House was to acquaint them with the preparations for the Special National Convention fixed for April 20.

All the principal officers of the House of Representatives were in attendance, except the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Dimeji Bankole, who was attending the National Council of State meeting. The PDP House Caucus was led by the Deputy Speaker, Bayero Nafada.