In 2010, President Jonathan used the Goodluck Support Group (GSG) to contest the PDP Presidential Primary election. All the support groups campaigning for the President were directed to collapse their campaigns under the GSG.
GSG as a Jonathan's campaign organisation were managed by Stella Oduah and Ahmed Gulak before they were appointed Minister of Aviation and Political Adviser to the President respectively.
Gulak was later sacked and Oduah relieved of her ministerial position.
A presidency source told THISDAY that GSG was dumped because of the controversy and discredit of their leaders.
In the process to activate the Jonathan's campaign, a new group named Vibrant Transformation Awareness and Leadership Development Initiative (VITALDI) was formed.
According to inside sources, the group led by Prof Jerry Gana as grand patron and Senator Saidu Kumo as national coordinator has Hon Ifeyinwa Obegolu as secretary.
The inauguration of the new group in Abuja was attended by former Defence Minister of State, Erelu Olusola Obada, former Chief of Air Staff, Marshal Ibrahim Alfa, former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, Chairman, Police Service Commission, ex-I.G Mike Okiro , Sen. Stella Omu, Dr. Ifeyinwa Obegolu, former Internal Affairs Minister, Dr. Mohammed Shata, former House Leader, Tunde Akogun, Hon.Yakubu Barde , Mr. Enonche Ugbabe, PDP BoT member, Dr. Christy Tafida Silas, AIG Felix Ogbuadu, former FCT Police Commisioner, Lawrence Alobi, among others.
Before moving to their new office, the new campaign group operated from the PDP Legacy Office in Maitama, Abuja.
Speakers at the inauguration, called for re-awakening of a strong and sustainable ethical structure that can grow and nurture a robust purpose-driven leadership recruitment process where Nigeria’s future leaders are mentored for governance excellence in all segments of the Nigerian society.
The call was made in Abuja yesterday by former Information Minister, Prof. Jerry Gana, the Political Adviser to the President , Prof. Ahmed Rufai Alkali and the National Coordinator of Vibrant Transformation Awareness and Leadership Development Initiative (VITALDI), Senator Saidu Umar Kumo.
They spoke at the International Conference Centre Abuja, venue of a capacity-crowd formal inauguration of VITALDI which said yesterday that it emerged as a group of like-minded citizens seeking to promote, project and preserve certain fundamental gains and developmental strides of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration ahead of 2015.
Gana, who is the Grand Patron of the new group, observed that the need had come for all true citizens of the country to collaborate urgently and ensure that Nigeria remained on the path of sustainable growth and development.
According to him, the current challenges of national rebirth is not solely for the Federal Government to address but for all the critical segments of the Nigerian society starting from the led to the leader, the governed and the governing.
“The current moment in the country belongs to all Nigerians irrespective of race, region or religion, creed or class, male or female, young or old, political party A or political party B. It is for all Nigerians to rise and ensure that our collective destiny is not derailed by a common enemy attempting to seize the moment. It is for all patriotic Nigerians to ensure that they are driven by a common purpose to defeat the common enemy.
“Leaders must therefore emerge to lead at every segment of the nation. For such leaders to lead well, there should be a robust leadership recruitment process which also emphasises robust mentorship. This is what I find needful now and which the VITALDI group seeks to achieve. We fully support it”, he said.
He further noted that the outcome of the recent Ekiti State governorship election in which the incumbent governor honourably accepted defeat was a direct outcome of the conducive atmosphere created by President Goodluck Jonathan’s adherence to the principle of one man, one vote where free, fair, credible and transparent elections create peace, order and good governance.
“Mr. President’s one man, one vote is a principle not only fashioned by a wonderful leader but that which works wonders. We can get things right in this country but that is only when and where the leadership offers good leadership. The recent Ekiti election outcome was made possible because the leader in Mr. President pointed to the right way. The challenge therefore is for all Nigerians of goodwill to point the right way. This is what makes the leader”, he said.
In his own remark, Political Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan, Prof. Ahmed Rufai Alkali said that President Jonathan was a modern national leader who is fired by the vision and zeal to get the right things done in order to lift the nation from the low plains to the high pedestal, pointing out that the ongoing Transformation Agenda of the Federal Government was conceived as a means of repositioning the country to become a leading politically-stable, economically-viable and socially-responsive nation within the comity of nations.
“A nation is a function of its leadership. True leaders in history emerged according to the demands of their era. Great leaders become great leaders when they do great things. What makes an ordinary man like President Goodluck Jonathan a great leader is because he is doing ordinary things in extraordinary ways and the highpoint of which is to pass the template to others to become leaders in their little corners. This is where this group VITALDI is a pleasant development in the evolution of the modern Nigerian nation,” he said.
Prof. Alkali appealed to all Nigerians to embrace and preach peace always. He also called for bipartisan collaboration among all stakeholders in order to create a partnership that works well for the actualisation of the dreams and visions of the nation’s founding fathers. He expressed the President’s unshaken belief in the unity, stability and indivisibility of Nigeria, saying that the greatness of the country lay in the hands of citizens.
VITALDI’s National Coordinator, Senator Saidu Umar Kumo, who is a delegate at the ongoing National Political Conference, said the group was formed to raise the ethical bar in the country’s march to greatness, adding that it will promote, project and preserve certain ethical values which President Jonathan has espoused toward developing positive leadership values in the country.
“VITALDI aspires to take the lead in mobilising and galvanising massive support for Mr. President’s re-election bid. It is his fundamental, justiceable and inalienable right to seek re-election under the constitution. His government has started to redress identified inequities and impurities in critical sectors such as electoral reforms, power, security, agriculture, health, education, telecommunications, youth development, oil and gas, water, diplomacy, public service, housing, solid minerals, etc”, he said.