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1128: President Jonathan begins walking towards the podium alongside his wife and the vice-president. The Kwara state governor, Bukola Saraki, appears to be conspicuously absent amongst the governors who just came in.
1125: Jonathan Zwingina leads the Islamic prayers and asks God to ensure a PDP win and also to bless Nigeria with leaders who do not steal.
1122: Opening prayers start.
1120: President Goodluck Jonathan arrives in Eagles Square in a bus with state governors.
1115: Some soundbites:
Bala Muhammed: Goodluck is a genuine inspiration to Nigerians irrespective of their bckground and we are very proud of him
Yayale Ahmed: "We thank God for everything"
Barnabas Gemade: " I'm highly delighted to see this mammoth crowd. he and Sambo are producing a good team. This will be a government of transformation."
Joseph Wayas: "What you can see in Eagle square represents what Nigerians are feeling. The candidature of Goodluck Jonathan is a popular one"
Don Etiebet: "Nigerians are ready for a new Nigeria. We have been walloing in the past and this is a new dawn. For the little period he has been here there has been a lot of transformation in power and finance."
Namadi Sambo: " We have come to make a statement to Nigerians that we have arrived. Let the opposition know today that come 2011 we will remain in Aso Rock."
Defence minister; I am happy that Nigerians have bought into the vision and I hope it gets better. Jonathan is for Transformation and stability.
Petroleum minister: I don't think Nigeria has seen this kind of crowd in a long time. I shows how much the people want him. Nigeria needs a leader that will give them their desire.
Information minister: Nigeria needs a young leader like the Obamas of this world. It will be tragic for Nigerians to allow those responsible for our past failures to come back and lead us.
Ima Niboro : The turn out is excellent: this is the man Nigeria has been waiting for and it is obviou
1105: As we wait for the President to arrive, a quick word on the traffic situation around town. In one word: gridlock. All the hotels in the city are also fully booked. There is no single room available. Yesterday evening it took about three hours just to drive in to the Transcorp Hilton hotel.
1100: The female compere appears to be reading out recharge card numbers to the crowd. Get your phones ready...
1056: The Vice-president, Namadi Sambo has arrived in a motorcade. Most of the senators and National Assembly members are also taking their seats.
1055: All of the big wigs are trying to force their way into the VIP section which is causing a lot of unsightly scenes, lots of pushing and struggling. So far the security are managing to keep it under control. Many of the affronted agbada wearing guests are having to make other seating arrangements.
1040: Ojo Madueke, former foreign minister, arrives wearing a bizarre jumps suit which really needs to be seen to be believed. He is closely followed by the wives of the PDP governors and their deputies. The First lady has also arrived and taken her seat on the podium.
1030: Remember the PDP spokesman who said that the National Executive Council are "supposed to be neutral?" Well someone must have missed the memo. All the party leaders are arriving here. Okweselize Nwodo, et al are here to show their support. Significantly, none of them attended the Babangida declaration on Wednesday.
1004: Two more interesting faces in the crowd: Jerry Gana is here lending support to the Jonathan campaign. Mr. Gana was of course appointed chairman of Mass Mobilisation for Social and Economic Recovery under the Babangida regime and was subsequently a minister. His presence here means that it is unlikely that he will be supporting his old boss.
Femi Otedola is also here making his first public appearance in two months after the attempt on his life in July. The oil magnate had been on a self-imposed exile in America since the incident.
NEXT had previously revealed that Mr. Otedola is one of the chief bank-rollers of the President Jonathan campaign.
0959: Also spotted in the crowd are Matthew Tawo Mbu (former foreign minister) Pius Anyim (former senate president), Jonathan Zwingina (former Senator from Adamawa) Ibrahim Mantu (former Deputy Senate President) and Mohammed Abba Aji.
0945: As expected, most of the members of the Federal Executive Council are already showing up and taking their seats..
0933: An interesting banner by one of the President's supporters reads: "Goodluck darling, I will never let you go until you take me to the promised land. N.B. Sorry Dame Patience for sharing him with you. Signed The Goodluckers"
0915: President Jonathan's aide-de-camp arrives ahead of him to perform security checks on the area the president will sit.
0911: All 36 states of the federation are represented by delegations dressed in traditional attire. The ceremony is already laden with colour. There are lots of paramedics on view, each wearing pink reflector jackets to ensure that all medical emergencies are attended to.
0900: the Eagle square already close to capacity two hours before President Jonathan's official declaration ceremony kicks off. Security is heavy with armed guards everywhere.
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