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David Mark, Jonah Jang join presidential race • Ex-Senate President condemns Buhari’s refusal to sign Electoral Bill • Plateau ex-gov canvasses support for Middle Belt • Women group vows to mobilise votes against Buhari, other male candidates • Afenifere denies adopting any presidential aspirant

   Former Senate President David Mark yesterday declared his intention to contest the presidential election in 2019 under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as he picked his nomination form at the party’s national secretariat, Abuja.
   Mark, who spoke with journalists at the secretariat, described as unfortunate the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to assent to the 2018 Electoral Act amendment Bill, adding that the bill would have afforded the country an opportunity to remove the lapses in the previous elections.He promised to embark on restructuring of the country if given the opportunity, saying: “Irrespective of our political persuasions, it is incontrovertible that restructuring of the nation is an idea whose time has come.
   In the same vein, former Governor of Plateau State, who is also a serving senator representing Plateau North Senatorial District, Jonah David Jang, has declared his intention to contest the presidential primary on the platform of the PDP.
   Jang, who declared his intention to contest the presidential position at the PDP secretariat in Jos, the state capital, said: “I have come here to make history on behalf of myself, my family, the people of my constituency, Plateau State, the Middle Belt of Nigeria, and the entire nation. I have come to formally and officially announce my interest and decision to join the contest for the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the coming 2019 elections.
   “The Middle Belt should be given the chance and supported in 2019.”In another development, a group, Kaduna Women Network Consultative Forum, has said it will mobilise votes against President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) or any male candidate that emerges from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 presidential election.

    In a similar vein, the National President of the forum, Zulai Shehu Bello, while speaking with journalists on the sideline of a one-day sensitisation programme for women ahead of the 2019 elections on their decision in Kaduna, said women are natural leaders and, as such, would mobilise and cast their votes for any credible female candidate irrespective of party in the 2019 presidency.
Meanwhile, Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Afenifere, has refuted a report that it has adopted a presidential aspirant for the 2019 election.In a statement yesterday, leader of the organisation, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, who stated that the group would have ignored the report, said it is senseless to suggest that a serious group would adopt an aspirant when political parties are yet to produce candidates.“We must state emphatically that our pre-occupation at the moment is to engage presidential aspirants vis-à-vis our conviction that for Nigeria to make progress, it must be restructured into a truly federal polity,” he said.
“It is when political parties have put forward their candidates that Afenifere and the Nigerian Leaders and Elders Forum would make a choice of a candidate, whose vision and commitment tally with our quest for a productive and working Nigeria.”



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