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President Goodluck Jonathan at the weekend failed to accede the request from the South East leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who pressurized him during a zonal rally organized in Enugu to declare his intention to run in the 2015 presidential election.

The president, who was the last speaker at the PDP zonal Unity Rally organised at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium, Enugu, said he would give the party leaders the answer to their request in a later date.

Jonathan, who spoke for 10 minutes, said the unity rally was meant to announce to the country and the world that the PDP is the number one party in Nigeria, saying that the ruling party has no rival in the country.

He also declared that henceforth the PDP would take over the remaining South East states (Imo and Anambra) that are not governed by the party, saying: ?We have been magnanimous, but now it will be to total.?

He also said the PDP was the only democratic party in the country that could take the country to the democratic world, adding that if not for the PDP, someone like him from a poor background would not have become the president of the country.

?In the PDP we pass through due process, we follow everything based on due process. PDP is the only party that can salvage this country and take it to the moon,? he declared, adding that the party would not disappoint the South East people.

Before the president mounted the podium to speak at 2.15p.m., the South East leaders of the party had prevailed on him to declare that he would run for the presidency in 2015.

When Sullivan Chime, the host governor led the other governors to the podium, he went straight to tell the president that they had two requests to make: ?One for you to run for presidency in 2015 and second is that you don?t disappoint us by saying no and for you to say yes.?

Chime disclosed that the request was not just conceived yesterday as the people of the zone had met from the ward level to the state level before arriving at the decision.

?We are not here to discuss your projects, but have come with one voice,? Chime said, urging those who would speak after him to limit themselves to persuading the president to say yes to their request.

But when the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anineh spoke, it became clear that the South East leaders of the PDP may have to wait a little longer to actualize their aspiration as he told them that they would return as soon as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) lifts the ban for campaigns to start for the president to answer them.

Then, he said the president would be constitutionally allowed to give them a definite answer to their request, saying: ?We have come back to thank you for your support in 2011, we will come back to ask for more.?

Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio also speaking at the rally said that his colleagues from the South East had confided in him that they wanted Jonathan to run to guarantee the completion of some of the major projects that are on going in the region such as the Second Niger Bridge and Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

?The South East people are worried that if you don?t run who will complete their international airport and other projects,? he said, adding that in 2015 the PDP would surely recover Imo State from the hands of Governor Rochas Okorocha.

Also speaking, billionaire businessman, Prince Arthur Eze was emphatic that Jonathan must do eight years like former President Olusegun Obasanjo before power would be moved from the South-South.

He pointed out that the God who brought out Jonathan to be president is still with him.

Other dignitaries who attended the PDP rally included Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu, National Chairman PDP Adamu Muazu, former Senate President Ken Nnamani, former Deputy Senate President Ibrahim Mantu, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and former PDP Secretary Ojo Maduekwe.

Also in attendance were all the PDP National Assembly members from the South East, including Senators Hope Uzodinma, Andy Ubah, Gil Nnaji, Ayogu Eze, and Sunny Oguoji.

Others were Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives Emeka Ihedioha, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi from Enugu State, Hon. Offor Chukwuegbo and Hon. Omo Christopher.

Governors at the rally included the three PDP gov ernors from the South East: Governor Theodore Orji (Abia), Chief Martin El echi (Ebonyi) and Sullivan Chime (Enugu).

Other governors were Governors Usman Saidu (Kebbi); Idris Wada (Kogi), Mukhtar Yero (Kaduna), Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) as well as the deputy governor of Niger State.

Former governors of Kano, Ibrahim Shekarau, Anambara, Chinwoke Mbadinuju, Imo, Achike Udenwa, and Ebonyi Dr. Sam Egwu, were also part of the event.

Others were Anambra business mogul, Prince Ar thur Eze, Kema Chikwe, Ike Nwachukwu and Minis ter of Labour, Chief Emeka Nwogu.


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