DR Abdul Jhalil Tafawa Balewa, son of late Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, on Tuesday, made good his threat to challenge President Goodluck Jonathan for the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), despite the party reserving it for the president.
He paid N22 million for the expression of interest and nomination forms, but was unable to pick them up during his visit to the national secretariat of the PDP in Abuja, on Tuesday, as he was informed that the forms were not available.
The presidential aspirant addressed journalists after his failed attempt to get the forms, saying that he had been asked to check back on Thursday.
He said he did not enter the race on his own accord, but have the signature of over 40 million people, who wanted change.
“I am in the PDP, I have always been in the PDP. I have no intention of leaving the PDP. But I have every intention of making my country better, a country that we will all be proud of,” he said.
Tafawa Balewa regretted that while there were many forms available for other categories of aspirants, the presidential ticket with just a few aspirants had no form, saying that the situation “is a little bit worrisome.”
He was, however, confident that the PDP would do the right thing.
The aspirant dismissed the endorsement of President Jonathan by all the organs of the party, noting that “those organs do not always represent the masses that follow my party.”
Similarly, a lady presidential aspirant, Professor Akasuba Duke-Abiola, said after paying the N2 million for expression of interest only, as required for female aspirants by the party guidelines, she was told that the party printed only one expression of interest and one nomination forms for the presidential ticket.
She said when asked why she was insisting on contesting against the president: “It is not a question of insisting. Equity does not pay the indolent. He who goes to equity must go with clean hands. I have paid. This is the bank teller, I have official receipt from the PDP.
“In simple jurisprudential terms, when you have a receipt, the consequence of that is that you are given what you have paid for. Here, I have a receipt without any service rendered, that is, no nomination form.
“And I asked, why won’t you give me a nomination form and they said to me very clearly that they printed just one nomination form.
“I have the electoral guidelines for primaries election, the latest edition 2014 and I have not seen where it is stated that you need to print just one form,” she declared.
However, in his reaction, the national publicity secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said he was not aware that the aspirants had been denied forms, as he promised to find out.