by Segun Odeleye
Things are picking up steam in the Goodluck Jonathan re-election campaign just 24 hours after the president inaugurated a declaration committee. Without wasting any time, the committee has announced that the public declaration event by Pres. Jonathan will take place on November 11, 2014, even though a venue has not yet been fixed.
This was announced by the chairman of the declaration committee, Haliru Bello Mohammed, who also said that a former information minister, Jerry Gana, will head a fundraising committee. On that same Tuesday, November 11, when the declaration will take place, the president will also hold a fundraising dinner. This gives the president a head-start already over whoever emerges as the APC candidate. The APC cannot really come together as a party to do fundraisers for any candidate until the presidential primary in December, unless they are able to arrive at a consensus candidate somehow before then.
Today, the declaration committee for the president’s re-election held its inaugural meeting in Aso Rock. There were 5 governors in the meeting – Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe, Liyel Imoke of Cross River, Theodore Orji of Abia, Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo and Ibrahim Shema of Katsina.
The committee also set up several sub-committees to ensure a smooth declaration. The sub-committees include those on venue and decoration, secretariat, media and publicity, security, protocol and mobilisation.
Haliru Mohammed, the chairman addressed journalists. The president has inaugurated the committee, and they are even meeting at the presidential villa, yet Mohammed claimed that the president has still not made up his mind to run.
Nigerians are calling on him to run, said Mohammed, “It is our honest hope that he will come out and say yes to the demand of a multitude of Nigerians.”
“We will wait for him to speak. The date we have fixed is November 11. On that day there will be a forum for the president to meet Nigerians to announce his decision. If he says yes, it will be yes. If he says no, it is negative,” he said
Mohammed also said that because the party is satisfied with the president’s performance, if he says yes, he will have preference over other candidates. “It is only when he declines that we can look at other candidates.”