By Danlami Nmodu
President Goodluck Jonathan will formally declare his interest in the 2015 presidential race on November 11, Chairman of the Presidential Declaration Committee, Dr. Haliru Bello has said.
Bello made this disclosure while speaking with State House correspondents at the end of the committee’s inaugural meeting at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa on Friday:
“The date that is fixed is Tuesday, November 11. On that day, there will be a forum for the President to meet Nigerians to announce his decision”,he said .
“The venue is yet to be decided. That will be decided at our next meeting.
“When we come out on November 11, the President will face the people of Nigeria and say yes to their demand.
Reports from the Villa said most of the committee members attended the Declaration Committee meeting.Also, governors of Abia, , Gombe, Ondo, Cross River state were present at the meeting.
Giving some insight into the work of his committee,Bello said ,“The President gave us the task to organise the modality of creating a platform for him to meet Nigerians and announce his response to the various calls for him to come out and declare his interest in the presidential election.
Interestingly, he said further,“The President has not said anything yet but it is like all Nigerians have called on him. It is our honest hope that he will come out and say yes to the demand of multitude of Nigerians.
“We expect he will say yes but we cannot say yes for him. We will wait for him to speak.
“If he says yes, it will be yes. If he says no, then it is negative. But you are aware that our party, the PDP in all its organs, from the caucus to the Board of Trustees, NWC had decided that President Jonathan should be given the first option of refusal with the PDP ticket.
“If he is going to contest, the PDP will give him preference. As the President, he has performed and we are satisfied with what he has done.
“It is only when he declines that we can look at any other contestant”,Bello said.
Despite the chairman’s claims, sources said the president had already told party chieftains on Thursday the he would run in 2015.That was what gave rise to the declaration committee at the end of Jonathan’s meeting with stakeholders in Aso Rock.
His party , the PDP has already adopted him as its consensus presidential candidate.