No fewer than 3,000 delegates and stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the 23 Local Government Areas of Kaduna state yesterday agreed to adopt President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Mukhtar Ramalan Yero as their presidential and governorship candidates respectively in the 2015 general election.
The endorsement was announced by the party’s state chairman Mr. Abubakar Haruna at a ‘Town Hall Meeting’ at the Murtala Mohammed Square in Kaduna. The endorsement came ahead of the party’s primary elections expected to hold before the end of the year.
Prominent members of the party from the state such as Vice President Namadi Sambo and two members of the party from the upper chambers of the National Assembly, Senators Ahmed Makarfi and Nenadi Usman were conspicuously absent at the town hall meeting.
Mr. Haruna said an official letter, conveying the party’s position in Kaduna on 2015 elections, would be forwarded to Messrs Jonathan and Yero. He said the party would plead with both men to seek re-election in 2015.
During the meeting, Mr. Haruna enumerated the achievements of both the state and the federal governments, including the construction of 62 roads, the rehabilitation of 187 primary schools, the employment of 1,802 secondary school teachers and 500 lecturers in the higher institutions as well as the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna railway line and Kaduna power plant.
Subsequently, the representatives of party leaders in the three senatorial zones, namely Alhaji Yaro Jema’a (Zone 1), Senator Ahmed Aruwa (Zone 2), Nuhu Wey (Zone 3) as well as Hajiya Hauwa (Women leader) and Yaron Kirki (Youth leader) openly announced their support for Jonathan and Yero in the 2015 elections.
An elated Governor Yero, who was present at the meeting, declared his intention to run for re-election. He said the media reports, stating that he had decided to stay away from the contest were untrue.
“There were reports saying that I attended a meeting with Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo and the Emir of Zazzau Alhaji Shehu Idris where it was resolved that I should not run for governorship in 2015. I want to say that I was not at the meeting and I never knew about it. I will retain my position”, he said.
He also dispelled rumors making the rounds, saying that Vice President Sambo was ‘constantly’ interring with the decision of the state government.
“People say that the Vice President had a hand in major decisions in the state and if they want to be rude, they insult me and the Vice President. I want to say that Mukhtar (governor’s name) is a matured man and I am in charge. The Vice President has no hand in state affairs. So, people should direct their insults to me not the Vice President”, he added.
Yero pledged to continue from where the late governor of the state, Sir Patrick Yakowa had stopped, explaining that for those who always claim to be “Yakowa boys”, he remained the number one Yakowa boy because he was first to be given an appointment by the late governor.