President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday met religious and traditional leaders, and key members of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Adamawa State, asking for support ahead of presidential elections in two weeks.
On his second visit to the state in about two weeks, the president arrived Yola, the state capital, at about 12p.m. before meeting with the Lamido of Adamawa.
A source at the palace said “the president had a closed-door meeting with some traditional rulers in the Lamido’s palace for about hour before leaving for Adamawa State government house”.
At the government house, the president met with political and religious leaders in the state.
Mr. Jonathan later met with members of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, including Governor Bala Ngilari, and his deputy.
Also present at that meeting were the state PDP chairman, Joel Madaki, the PDP governorship candidate, Nuhu Ribadu, past and present National Assembly members.
Mr. Jonathan’s first visit in a long while to Adamawa State was on February 26, when he travelled to Mubi, a town reclaimed recently from the insurgent group, Boko Haram.
Ahead of the trip, Mr. Jonathan had been criticised for not visiting Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States, the three states most ravaged by the Boko Haram insurgency.
Unlike his first visit when he met with troops fighting Boko Haram, and victims displaced from their communities, the president usedSaturday’s visit to canvass support for the March 28 election.
At a meeting with the PDP leadership in the state, Mr. Jonathan addressed some thorny issues that emanated after the party’s primaries in the state, which produced Nuhu Ribadu as the governorship candidate.
Mr. Jonathan, who chaired the meeting at the Government House, Yola, appealed to all aggrieved party members to work for the success of the party.
Governor Ngilari, who spoke before the meeting went into a closed-door session, assured Mr. Jonathan of victory in the state, as according to him, the Adamawa chapter of the PDP has been one indivisible party.
Mr. Ngilari said the members had to meet with the president to brainstorm on the present situation the party has found itself.
“We must deliver PDP on 28th of this month, no two ways about it,” the governor said. “We all agreed that we must deliver. This is a safe place for you all the PDP candidates, as a party faithful we must deliver you and other members.”
Mr. Ngilari said the emergence of Nuhu Ribadu as the party’s candidate was a blessing.
“We need a governor who has international connection and to use the connection to build our state by bringing dividend of democracy,” he said.
The state chairman of the party, Mr. Madaki, while giving a report of the effort made at reconciling aggrieved members, said members agreed to put behind them all grievances and work together for the victory of the PDP.
“In every organisation, there must be disagreement which does not translate to hatred. There is intra-house struggle in the Adamawa State chapter of the PDP. Before the PDP primary there were only two major parties in the state, which were PDP and APC. But after the PDP primaries we have four party now and many of our people have left to other platforms, nobody from APC moved to our fold,” he said.
Mr. Madaki noted that an earlier intervention by President Jonathan and other party leaders saved the situation.
‘’The intervention of the party leaders have made things to happen in Adamawa PDP. We have been mobilising people for your victory Mr. President, we are making progress,” he assured Mr. Jonathan.
‘’The gubernatorial candidate, Nuhu Ribadu, is a humble person. He has visited all aggrieved people individually seeking their supports.
‘’We’ve gone out to the 226 wards in the state to reconcile with our people. We want you Mr. President to assist all the candidates of the party.”