•May step down for president
AHEAD of the February 14 presidential election, nine candidates cleared by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) for the race have begun crucial talks with the Candidate of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Goodluck Jonathan, on the possibility of stepping down for him.
Sunday Tribune learnt that the collaboration meeting was being anchored on behalf of President Jonathan by the National Unity Group (NUG), one the support groups canvassing for his re-election.
Though the identities of the candidates and their political parties were not known as of press time, it was gathered that the meeting, which took place at a location in Abuja and lasted for several hours, with the nine candidates and the officials of NUG reportedly adjourning it till today for the candidates to brief their different political parties.
A competent source at the meeting told Sunday Tribune in confidence that after today’s final meeting, the nine candidates would make their decisions to step down from the race and team up with President Jonathan.
Confirming the development at a news conference in Abuja on Saturday, National Secretary of NUG, who is also the National Vice-Chairman of the PDP (South-South), Dr Cairo Ojougboh, said the meeting with the nine presidential candidates was with the aim of collaborating with President Jonathan and that it was cordial and fruitful.
According to him, “we are still incubating the process. What has happened today is very encouraging. We made appreciate progress. They have gone back to discuss with their political parties. The core of the meeting is collaboration for the unity and progress of the country.
“For now, it will not be proper to start naming the nine candidates involved.”