President Goodluck Jonathan has finally declared his interest to seek re-election in 2015.
He has therefore set up a presidential declaration committee headed by a former Minister of Defence, Alhaji Mohammed Bello Haliru.
The declaration comes a day before Jonathan departed Lagos to undertake a brief pilgrimage to Israel
Jonathan was said to have told a gathering of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) top shots at a meeting held on Thursday in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, that he would pick the presidential nomination form before the deadline set by the PDP leadership.
The deadline is October 30.
He is, therefore, expected to make a formal declaration between November 7 and 15, 2014.
The Presidential Declaration Committee comprises of representatives of the National Assembly, governors, zonal leaders and others picked at the discretion of President Jonathan.
Members of the committee are: Senator Ken Nnamani (Deputy Chairman), Enugu; Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim (Secretary), Ebonyi; Prof. Rufa’i Ahmed Alkali (member), Gombe; Julius Imagwe – SSA Youth – (member), Edo; Dr. Baraka Sani (SSA -NSAP) – Kano, (member).
The Governors on the committee are: Liyel Imoke, Cross River (South South), Theodore Orji, Abia (South East), Olusegun Mimiko, Ondo (South West), Dr. Mua’zu Babangida Aliyu, Niger (North Central), Ibrahim Shema, Katsina (North West) and Ibrahim Dankwambo, Gombe (North East).
From the National Assembly are: Sen. Hosea Agbola , (Oyo), Sen. Ahmed Makarfi (Kaduna), Hon. Bitrus Kaze (Plateau) and Hon. Salmas Badru (Ogun).
Representing the Federal Executive Council are: Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Dieziani Allison-Madueke (Bayelsa), Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Abduljelili Adesiyan (Osun), Minister of Women Affairs, Hajiya Zainab Maina (Adamawa), Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Sen. Bala Mohammed (Bauchi).
To represent party officials are: Deputy National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus (Rivers), Benue State Chapter Chairman, Chief Emmanuel Egbo, (Benue) National Women Leader, Kema Chikwe (Imo) and North West Zonal Chairman, Amb. Ibrahim Kazaure (Jigawa).
Party members representatives are: Sen. Stella Umo (Delta), Sen. Walid Jibirn (BOT Secretary, (Nasarawa), Ibrahim Bunu (Borno), Rev. Jolly Nyame (Taraba), Sen. Aneta Okon (Akwa Ibom), Peter Obi (Anambra), Mrs. Remi Adiuku Bakare (Lagos), and Gen. A. B. Mamman (PDP National Youth Leader) – FCT.
Others appointed at Presidential discretion are Barrister Halima Alfa (Kogi); Nigeria’s Ambassador to Netherlands, Dr. (Mrs.) Nimota Nihinlola Akanbi (Kwara); FCT ALGON Chairman, Hon. Micah Yohanna Jiba (FCT); and Hon. Sam Ikon (Akwa Ibom).
A statement by Special Adviser on Media and publicity to the President, Reuben Abati, on Thursday said Jonathan would leave for Israel on Friday.
The President, who will be accompanied by the Chaplain of the Presidential Villa, Venerable Obioma Onwuzurumba and his principal aides will, in addition to visiting Christian Holy sites, join other Nigerian pilgrims in a prayer session for the well-being and progress of the country at an Inter-Denominational Service in Jerusalem on Sunday.
He is expected back in Abuja on Monday.
Before leaving for Israel, President Jonathan will participate in the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Seme-Krake Joint Border Control Post on Friday morning.
The President will be joined at the event by President Boni Yayi of Benin Republic and officials of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
The Seme-Krake Joint Border Control Post is being constructed under the ECOWAS Transport Facilitation Programme which has the objective of boosting trade and economic relations among member countries.