11th November, 2014
Chieftains of Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and several groups on Tuesday gathered at the popular Eagles Square, Abuja, to endorse President Goodluck Jonathan for a second term of office in the 2015 general elections.
Ministers, Senator and members of the House of Representatives, and top members PDP were among the huge crowd who had arrived the venue of the declaration to await the arrival of the President. Many could not get access into the Square which was already full at the time of writing this report.
There were large tents outside the Square with three large screens installed for people who could not gain access into the Square.
Before the President’s arrival, Sani Danja, a popular Abuja-based Hausa musician entertained the crowd with songs specially composed for the President.
The event kicked off with the arrival of President Jonathan at the venue in a convoy of vehicles. The President came into the venue accompanied by PDP Governors and Patience, his wife.
The President was received by Vice President Namadi Sanbo and wife. He immediately went round the Eagle Square, waving at party members immediately he alighted from the vehicle.
This was followed by the rendition of the National Anthem and prayers.
The declaration is being anchored by a 37-man Presidential declaration committee headed by former Minister of Defence, Bello Haliru which was set up for the purpose by President Goodluck Jonathan on October 23 after a meeting with PDP leaders at the Presidential Villa.
In a brief speech to welcome party supporters to the occasion, Professor Haliru said the President is being asked to run for a second term by Nigerians, not just because they love him, but because of their love for development as being carried out by the Jonathan administration. He therefore asked the President to accede to the demands that he should run for another term of office.
This was followed by declaration of support for President Jonathan’s aspiration for second term of office by groups and individuals who attested to the various things the President has achieved in office.
Notable northern politician, Hassan Adamu who is also Wakili Adamawa who spoke on behalf of the North-East told the huge crowd that President Jonathan has delivered on his promises and so should be allowed to have a second term of office.
Olawale Ajani, a youth leader who spoke alongside the President of National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, said Jonathan has given opportunity to the youths in his government and therefore deserve support of the youths. The President himself was yet to speak as at the time of filing in this story.
The Federal Capital Territory has since yesterday been agog with politicians and their supporters going round the city with vehicles branded with posters and pictures of the PDP and aspirants for various positions who had descended on Abuja in solidarity with the President.
The event is being held under tight security, a situation that has resulted in the lock down of some parts of the city.
Men of the Nigerian Police, the President’s Guards Bridgade, State Security Service, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and the Nigerian Army have been deployed in strategic areas of the city for security purposes while a police helicopter has been hovering around the city since early Tuesday morning.
Also, all roads leading to the capital city from the satellite towns are manned by a combined team of soldiers and policemen who are also conducting through searches on vehicles, a situation that has resulted in traffic gridlock with commuters spending as many as three hours for a journey that should ordinarily last about 30 minutes.
Also, all roads leading in and out of the Eagle Square have been blocked to traffic as police indicated in a statement on Monday.
Emmanuel Ojukwu, spokesperson for the Nigeria Police had in a statement said the diversion of vehicular movements within the area was one of the proactive security measures put in place to avoid break down of law and order in the area and Abuja at large.
The police had consequently advised members of the public “to use alternative routes, as vehicular traffic will be diverted from most of the roads leading in and out of Eagle Square Central Business District, Abuja between 0500am and 0800pm of Tuesday, November 11, 2014.”
Civil servants who are immediate neighbours at the Federal Secretariat complex abutting Eagle Square have been asked to keep off work today.