Alhaji Jhalil Tafawa-Balewa, a presidential aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP has declared his withdrawal from the presidential race, stating that he is no longer interested in contesting against President Jonathan for the ticket.
The former aspirant, who is the son of a former Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, said he has rather chosen to support the candidacy of President Jonathan for the party’s sole ticket.
Speaking a press conference organised by the former federal commissioner for information, Chief Edwin Clark in Abuja on Thursday, November 6, 2014, Tafawa-Balewa stated that Nigerian should support the transformation agenda of the president as he is sure of positive change that will affect the grassroots when Mr President is elected for the second term
It was gathered that the aspirant, who had paid N22m to acquire the party ticket, was denied the party’s nomination form when he approached its leadership.
According to the party leadership, there is only one nomination form and it was meant for President Jonathan, who had been collectively endorsed as the sole presidential candidate of the party by its National Executive Committee.
Also speaking in party defence was Chief Edwin Clark, he 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 People’s 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”, he said
Chiek Clark also claims there has been a long-term friendship bond between Dr Jhalil and President Jonathan which cannot be broken by political propaganda.
“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 Jhalil, has formally withdrawn his aspiration to contest the presidential election in the 2015 general elections,” he added.
Clark concluded that the fee paid for by Jahlil for expression of interest was his (Jhalil) sacrifice for friendship.