Tafawa Balewa: I'm still running for presidency

Tafawa Balewa: I'm still running for presidency

Friday, November 14, 2014 10:06 pm

Tafawa Balewa: says he is still in the race for president

Tafawa Balewa: says he is still in the race for president

Dr Abdul Jhalil Tafawa Balewa of PDP, on Friday in Abuja said he has not withdrawn from the 2015 presidential race as being speculated.

He made this known to newsmen at the PDP national headquarters after submitting his Nomination and Expression of Interest Forms to contest the election.

The aspirant, son of late first Prime Minister of Nigerian, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, obtained the forms after the National Executive Committee (NEC) of PDP had endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan as sole presidential candidate.

The PDP NEC, its highest decision making organ, endorsed President Jonathan after the PDP Governors Forum and other organs of the party adopted him as their candidate for the election.

Balewa was initially speculated to have jettisoned his ambition after alleged due consultation and a visit to Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark.

But in a dramatic turn of event, Balewa denied his withdrawal from the race for the PDP presidential ticket, saying: “I have never withdrawn from the race, there was no agreement with Chief Edwin Clark.

“I went to Baba Clark’s press briefing, and was asked a question and I responded that I have nothing to say, because it was Clark’s briefing”, he said.

Balewa, however, disagreed that he was being sponsored as a spoiler allegedly playing the script of a certain group of people as was being speculated.

“I am truly a Nigerian and I will not denigrate this country’’, he stressed.

The aspirant added that his constituency was the 180million Nigerians he seeks to represent, not a clique of persons.

Belewa said he had submitted his forms to the party`s National Organising Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, to contest in the PDP electoral process ahead of the 2015 presidential election.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PDP formally closed the return of completed nomination and expression of interest forms for 2015 general elections by aspirants on Nov. 14.

Prof. Akasoba Duke-Abiola, widow of late business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola, who also signified interest to contest the presidency, did not show up at the party headquarters to pick her forms.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, had on Nov. 13, called on Duke-Abiola to come forward to the party`s headquarters to pick her forms.

According to the statement, Duke-Abiola wilfully refused to collect her expression of interest and nomination forms, even after it was sent to her through her lawyers.

This, the statement said, suggested an ulterior motive, adding that other aspirants, including Balewa and President Goodluck Jonathan, collected their forms on Oct. 30 and Nov. 6 respectively.

Metuh expressed surprise that Duke-Abiola chose to go to court instead of taking advantage of the extension, which expired on Nov. 14, to collect her forms

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