Mr. Taminu Turaki, one of the numerous presidential aspirants of the opposition PDP, and Benue Governor Samuel Ortom have submitted their nomination and expression of interest forms for the general elections.
Turaki, a former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs, who submitted the completed forms on Wednesday explained that all the aspirants agreed to support whoever emerges as the party’s candidate in 2019 presidential election.
He said that the aspirants were motivated by the assurances of the party leaders to conduct credible primaries.
Turaki, represented by the spokesman of his campaign organisation, Mr. Sola Atere, said he would not step down for anybody but would support anyone that emerges as PDP candidate.
He also dismissed insinuation that Turaki was fronting for somebody, and noted that he would not do such a thing given his pedigree.
“It is just impossible for Turaki to step down. He is a man of honour once he has set out for a task he accomplishes it.
“The question of fronting for anybody does not arise, if he fronting for anybody the person would be paying the bills. He cannot change from his good ways.
“We have been to 32 states and the reception has been very good and excellent.”
The Special Adviser to the Benue State governor on Special Duties, Mr Abraham Kwanghngu, who also submitted forms for Governor Samuel Ortom, said that the governor was ready to go into the party’s primary.
Kwanghngu said that the PDP Constitution did not give room for automatic ticket.
He added that though the Ortom, as a sitting governor, has the first right of refusal, he was ready to go into contest with any other person that wants to go in.
“We are going to participate in the primaries and I can assure you that the governor will be sure of victory. So we are not even thinking that we shall get automatic ticket.
“The party belongs to all, it doesn’t belong to anybody or any group of individuals that can stop somebody from entering the party.
“The doors of the party are always wide open and decisions to enter the party are taken by individuals.
“The governor decided, after full consultations with people of Benue state and the leadership of PDP, both at the state level and at the national level, agreed that he comes back to PDP,” Kwanghngu
A governorship aspirant from Oyo State, Seyi Makinde who also submitted his form said that the defection of some politicians from the PDP in Oyo state including former governor Rasheed Ladoja, would not affect his sure victory in 2019.
“We won’t say that the exit of anybody, even if it is a single individual won’t have an impact because this is a game of number.
“But if you look at the people that came into the party when we all came back to the home we jointly built with other people, you will notice that when Sen. Rasheed Ladoja and others decided to leave the party, majority of the people they came with did not leave with them.
“Twenty nine local government chairmen of PDP were presents today out of 33, same with the State executive 80 per cent of our state executive still intact, and these are committed members of the party.
“I think that at the end of the day we gained more people by governor Ladoja’s decision to leave the party than when he was actually with us,”Makinde said.
Another PDP governorship aspirant from Imo State, Sen. Anyanwu, said that the party had a solid structure in the state to reclaim PDP mandate lost to Governor Rochas Okorocha of the All Progressives Congress.