THE political camp of President Goodluck Jonathan is now in the final phase of its elaborate scheme to guarantee the presidential ticket of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for its principal, investigations by the Sunday Tribune has revealed.
The final push to ensure over 80 per cent assurance for the president in future presidential convention was reportedly launched in the last two weeks with internal opponents of the president within the ruling party said to be feeling the pinch of presidential powers and influence.
Sunday Tribune can authoritatively report that the president‘s camp is now comfortably in control of party structures in five of the six geopolitical zones with North-West being a mixed bags of loyalists and rebels and the South-West being sorted out by recent actions of the party‘s National Working Committee.
The strategy of the president’s faceless caucus was to make the party’s ticket unattractive to potential challengers due to what a party source called “an overwhelming hold of the president on party structures and delegates in future presidential convention.”
Checks showed that the president’s camp remains in firm control of the party in the South-East, with his men holding the structures in trust, supported by loyal governors and party chiefs from the zone. Jonathan is reported to be the unofficial candidate of the Igbo for 2015, despite reports of the region’s clamour for Igbo presidency.
Reports from the South-South zone indicated that Jonathan is equally in comfortable rating in five out of the six states, even as reports of internal revolts within the Rivers State chapter of the PDP are spreading daily in the federal capital.
Some of the governors of the zone were said to have repeatedly dissociated themselves from the alleged vice-presidential bid of the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi, with some party chiefs from Rivers said to be making nocturnal contacts with the presidency on the issue.
It was also learnt that the situation in the North-East had stabilised for the president’s camp after the change in the zonal leadership of the party, which now has Honourable Mohammed Wakil, a president’s loyalist, as the acting zonal chair for the region.
Unconfirmed reports even indicated that the crisis in Taraba State over the state of health of Governor Danbaba Suntai was complicated by reports that the acting governor in the state is disloyal to the presidency, a situation said to have warranted several visits to Abuja by the acting governor, Garuba Umar.
Umar was said to have promised not to tamper with the pro-Jonathan party structures in Taraba if he is eventually confirmed as the substantive governor of the state. The case of Bauchi State was reported to be fluid with the state governor said to be losing grip of the party to the Federal Capital Territory minister, Mr Bala Muhammed, a loyalist of the president.
Sunday Tribune was told that the North-Central zone is a safe region, for the president with all the state chapters in the region including that of Kwara State said to be within the president‘s caucus. It was learnt that situation in Niger State under, Babangida Aliyu was somehow dicey is not sure of because of what a party source called “complicated power relations in Niger State.”
The situation in the North-West is said to be very complicated as doubts still persist on the future plans and aspirations of governors of Jigawa, Katsina and Kano states. While both Kano and Katsina governors have not openly shown interest in the presidential race, findings showed that their supporters are urging them on, citing the need for the North to regain the presidency.
The political direction of the Kwankwasiya Group in Kano is said to be unpredictable, with mixed signals coming from top leaders of the group who believe the Kano governor having being a deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, governor and former defence minister, is more than qualified for the presidency of the nation.
The candidature of Jigawa governor, Sule Lamido, has been said to be facing mounting challenges as his principal, Olusegun Obasanjo, is not finding the race easy just as the governor himself is facing emerging threats touching on his personal political survival.
Sunday Tribune was even told that Lamido’s problem was deepened by the fact that the North has not and may not rally behind him if he eventually declares his ambition for 2015.
Governors of Kaduna, Sokoto and Kebbi, are however, said to be loyal to the president, while the party’s machinery for Zamfara is also under the control of the president‘s men.
Investigations showed that a previously hard nut to crack for the president’s men was the South-West where former President Olusegun obasanjo and his men believed the control of party structures should be in the hands of the former president.
Sunday Tribune investigations showed that the constant disagreement between the presidency and Otta led to what sources in Abuja described as final solution which led to the dissolution of the South-West leadership of the party.