The Vice President, Namadi Sambo, would speak next. He left his position as governor of Kaduna state to join Jonathan shortly the later took office in 2010 following the death of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua. He is expected to pledge his loyalty to the ambitions of Jonathan. He is likely to remain the Vice President if Jonathan wins.
The senate president apparently led all PDP members of the National Assembly to the event. The speaker of the House of Reps recently decamped to the opposition Action Congress of Nigeria. The senate president asked the president to heed to the call of Nigerians and run for a second term. He said all over the world, performing candidates are endorsed to run for a second term. He said everyone in the country must come together and support the president o overcome the challenges of insecurity posed by the Boko Haram sect
President Jonathan has sat calmly in the VIP section listening to these speeches. His expressions are bland.
The senate president said they want a president who can be trusted, who is reliable and inspiring, and that Jonathan is that president. He said the if he fails to return, the tangible projects he started may not see the light of the day. “We trust and believe you can deliver the dividends of democracy to Nigeria,” he said.
David Mark, the senate president is next on stage. But before that, Nigeria star rapper, Naeto C singes a stage version of his Ten Over Ten, for the president.
“Mr. President do not be intimidated and we are solidly behind you. Those who are behind are more than those against you,” Akpabio said. Akpabio ended his speech saying: “We cannot handover Nigeria to the enemies of Progress”.
Godswill Akpabio, governor of Akwa Ibom state led the PDP Governors to the podium. He said “We field commanders (Governors)” will ensure the PDP gets 30 states. He said they were the first to notice Jonathan’s transformation efforts in railways, power, agriculture, power, and economy. He said after the recognisance, the PDP Governors decided not to contest against him. He admits the road to the 2015 election will be tough but said they will emerge victorious. “Those who are behind you are more than those who are against you,” he said. He said the opposition have no plan for Nigeria and accused them of plotting to destabilise nigeria and encouraging terror. He is flanked by the PDP Governors as he speaks.
Godswill Akpabio: “Dr. Goodluck Ebelo Jonathan, we PDP Governors are saying “carry go”. Is not going to be very smooth but at the end of the tunnel there will be victory
Governor Godswill Akpabio: PDP will win 29 or 30 states in the 2015 elections
A short musical break. Bongo Sikwe Delivered a rendition atop blaring noise from different dance groups within the square.
Mr. Nnamani also He also said Jonathan as president will create a level playing field for all to compete favourably.
Former senate president, Ken Nnamani, spoke for the South East. He said the region was supporting the president because they do not want the Second Niger Bridge abandoned. He also said the region wants the president to continue in office because the region’s busiest highway, the Enugu Onitsha highway, was in terrible condition and that only a Jonathan led government beyond 2015 can fix it. “We do not want trial and error,” he said. He also added that the region’s only international airport in Enugu need to be completed.
Attahiru Bafarawa spoke for the North West. He said the region was full of thanks for appointing so many Nigerians from the region into key positions in the government. He said the region was donating a bus to the campaign.
Hassan Adamu who spoke on behalf of the people of the Boko Haram depleted North East said the region produced about 7 million signatures out of the 17.5 signatures who pledged to support him. He also eulogised the president for setting up two universities in the zone and said it is time for the region to pay him back.
Bode George who was recently acquitted of corruption convictions spoke for the South West. He said the president’s declaration is Devine, happening on 11th day of 11 month. He said the South West will openly declare their support for Jonathan in the forth coming Yoruba Unity Day.
Jerry Gana spoke on b half of the Middle Belt region and pledged more support for Jonathan.
Peter Odili, former governor of Rivers state, makes a rare public appearance, to speak on behalf of the South-South people. He said his people are full of thanks to the National Assembly for supporting the president in the past four years. He added that there are over 6million individuals demanding that the president runs for the #Nigeria2015 elections from his zone.
Hassan Adamu, Wakili Adamawa, speaking on behalf of the North-East, said the President has delivered and that the time has come for him to be rewarded appropriately.
A youth leader, Olawale Aanii, speaking said the youth are in total solidarity with the President. He was on stage with the President of NANS and called on Nigerians to give Jonathan another chance to continue with his good works. He said the President has created spaces for the Youth in his government and called on the president to ensure the Youth get the 30 percent affirmative action in 2015.
Nigerian farmers as well as Fulani pastoralists at Eagle Square, endorse President Jonathan
A father to one of the Almajiri kids enrolled into the almajiri school set up by the President who also came with his son said his son who was roaming the street can now read and write very well and thank the president. He also called on Nigerians to identify with the loudable projects that the president has done for the country.
Former TUC President Peter Esele said he has led TUC under three President’s and that of them all, Jonathan is “humility personified”. He said during the labour protest minimum wage the president personally called him and pledged that he would sign the minimum wage into law and he fulfilled the president. He called on Nigerians to always do their best wherever they find themselves.
The Chairman of the Declaration Committee in a brief speech welcomed all to the declaration and also informed the president that the entire crowd is there for Jonathan who have requested the President to come put and run for re election in 2015. He said the crowd is there to get answer to their request for him to run. He said the president is requested to contest not just because he was loved, but because of the love Nigerians have for themselves and need for development. He said Jonathan should come out and “say yes to our demands”.
Peter Esele, former President of the Trade Union Congress speaks: President Jonathan is humility personified. “During the minimum wage saga, I had gone on AIT to throw punches at the President. Immediately I left the studio, I got a call and it was the president…. He signed the law.” He said Jonathan never loses his cool even at the height of provocation.
In his opening prayers, Mr. Akanje remembered the numerous Nigerians who are suffering and prayed God to help them.
After the National Anthem and recognition of dignitaries, Israel Akanje, the FCT Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, and the Deputy Chief Imam of National Mosque Abuja, Kabir Umar, said the opening Christian and Muslim prayers respectively.
The National Anthem has been sung and the opening prayers rendered. The declaration ceremony has now started in full swing after hours of preliminaries.
The PDP issued a statement Monday saying Jonathan is the best presidential candidate for Nigeria in the run-up to the 2015 election. But many of the president’s critics disagree. They say he has failed to check the growing insurgency in the country, that electricity supply in the country has worsened under his reign, that kidnapping and abductions have heightened; that unemployment has skyrocketed.
The President has returned to the VIPS stand After his tour. After a brief exchange of pleasantries with dignitaries at the VIP section, the national anthem is sang, paving way for the declaration speeches.
Before today, former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari [APC], former Vice President Atiku [APC] and Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso [APC] have declared their presidential ambition in Abuja. The federal capital was never locked down this way.
The president just alighted from his tour vehicle and walking amidst a large crowd. His security aides works hard to move him through the crowd.
State governors and party chieftains are seen going to First Lady Patience Jonathan, some of them bowing in reverence to her. It is a festival of sorts here. All manners of entertainment on display.
The president is going round the Eagle Square hailing the thousand of supporters who have thronged the Square to witness the declaration.
President Goodluck Jonathan has arrived Eagle Square accompanied by PDP Governors and. He was received by his deputy, Namadi Sanbo and wife. Also on the President’s entourage is the First Lady, Patience Jonathan.
President Jonathan alighted from a bus, accompanied by his wife, party chieftains and state governors. Sandwiched between dark-googled security operatives, he is waving to the crowd. as he walked towards the VIP stand.
Abuja has virtually been locked down for the presidential declaration. Motorists coming into Abuja from all entry points are going through hell. Major roads have been blocked .
President Goodluck Jonathan arrives the Eagle Square in a long convoy of cars and buses. The crowd is overpowering and security is tight.
The crowd has overpowered the police officers at the gate and are forcing themselves into the Eagles Square.
Many governors, Ministers, Senator and members of the House of Representatives, as well as top members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party are in the Square awaiting the arrival of the President while Kannywood super star, Sani Danja entertains the crowd with a Goodluck Jonathan Song.
The president is yet arrive but the crowd is large and becoming uncontrollable. The Eagle Square venue for the declaration is already full and people outside equals the ones inside.
Security personnel have now closed the maain entrance to the Square, asking people to go and seat in one of the large tents outside the Square and monitor proceedings on the three giant screens provided.
People are however adamant and they want to go in.