A son of Nigeria’s first and only prime minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa-Balewa, Dr. Abdul Jhalil Tafawa Balewa, has formally thrown his hat into the ring to contest the presidential ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP with President Goodluck Jonathan.
The development came despite a warning by the party yesterday to all party members to refrain from seeking the presidency following the decision of the major organs of the party to adopt the incumbent president as sole candidate of the party.
The PDP, also yesterday, played down doubts on the position of the incumbent vice-president, Architect Namadi Sambo on the 2015 presidential ticket as it said that only the president could determine Sambo’s fate.
Meanwhile, the PDP has scheduled a nationwide tour of flagship projects of the federal administration as it said yesterday that opposition parties were taking credit for the achievements of the administration. The tour, it was learnt was aimed at showcasing the achievements of the administration and rebuffing critics of last week’s unanimous adoption of Dr. Jonathan for a second term.
Abdul Jhalil, who holds a doctorate in nuclear chemistry and was a rabid supporter of Dr. Jonathan’s alleged 2015 ambition only a year ago, based his challenge on what he described as the transformation of the PDP into a fiefdom. He particularly frowned at what he claimed as the determination of the leadership of the party to railroad the president for a second term despite what he described as the difficult living conditions of Nigerians.
The aspirant confirmed his ambition in a telephone interview with Vanguard yesterday following speculations about his ambition on social media and sms platforms at the weekend.
Taken up on the development yesterday, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, asked, “Is he in PDP?” Told that he had in the past campaigned for Dr. Jonathan, he said “I didn’t know.”
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