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Tafawa-Balewa withdraws from PDP presidential race

A presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Jhalil Tafawa-Balewa, has said he is no longer interested in challenging President Goodluck Jonathan for the party’s ticket.

The PDP presidential aspirant, who is the son of a former Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, said he had withdrawn his intention to run for the Presidential primary.

He said he was already supporting the candidacy of Jonathan for the party’s sole ticket.

Tafawa-Balewa stated this in Abuja on Thursday during a press conference organised by the former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark.

The aspirant, who had paid the mandatory N22m to the party, was denied the party’s nomination form when he approached its leadership.

He was told that the party printed only one nomination form and that the form was meant for Jonathan, who had been endorsed as the sole presidential candidate of the party by its National Executive Committee.

Before Tafawa-Balewa spoke, Clark said, “I wish to inform you that I have succeeded in intervening to make peace between two of my sons, Dr. Jhalil Tafawa Balewa and Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

“Dr. Jhalil Tafawa Balewa had indicated his intention to contest the presidential primary on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party against the decision of the party to give President Goodluck Jonathan the right of first refusal.

“Unfortunately, this issue was to generate unnecessary public distraction as detractors jumped to capitalise on it to make unfounded commentaries.

“The relationship between Dr. Jhalil Tafawa Balewa and President Goodluck Jonathan dates back to 2005 when the latter was the deputy governor of Bayelsa State. The same relationship continued in Abuja when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan became the President.

“In deference to their old ties, Dr. Jhalil, has formally withdrawn his aspiration to contest the presidential election in the 2015 general elections.”

On the fee paid for expression of interest form by Jhalil, Clark said it was a sacrifice for friendship.

AmarSim Associations Development Consultants

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