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PDP presidential aspirant, who is the son of a former Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, said he had already withdrawn his intention to run for the Presidential primary.
He said he was already supporting the candidacy of President Jonathan for the party’s sole ticket.
Tafawa-Balewa stated this in Abuja on Thursday during a press conference organised by Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark.
Clark had earlier claimed that he spoke to the aspirant on behalf of the President with the intention of achieving peace in the party.
The aspirant, who had paid the mandatory N22m to the party was denied the party’s nomination form when he approached its leadership.
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 primaries 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. In deference to their old ties, Dr. Jhalil, has formally withdrawn his aspiration to contest the presidential election in the 2015 general elections”.
Confirming the development, Tafawa-Balewa said, “What you have heard from Chief (Clark) is true. I have accepted to step down for the President. I won’t run again.”
He, however, refused to answer whether or not his N22m nomination fee had been refunded by the PDP.