2015: Presidency, PDP Moves Against ‘Marked’ Governors



As the battle for 2015 Presidency becomes more intriguing within the forces in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Presidency and the national leadership of the party, which include the leadership of the Board of Trustees (BoT), have concluded plans to deal with the party governors opposed to President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term.

A source in the party who was privy to a meeting held in Abuja early last week, told The Guardian yesterday that it was agreed at the meeting that the best bet for the President Goodluck Jonathan to secure his second term ticket and subsequently win the 2015 presidential election is to start in time to move against such governors.

According to the source, it was agreed at the meeting that no stone should be left unturned in the plot which would involve anti-graft agencies and the judiciary.

It was disclosed that despite what looked like fence-mending in the party in the last few weeks, the security report and findings from the recent peace tours by (BoT) leadership showed that the opposing governors, mostly from the North, are already hobnobbing with the merging opposition party All Progressives Congress (APC) by proxy.

“What happened in Rivers State with the recent court’s sack of the state executive of the party loyal to Governor Chibuike Amaechi and their replacement with a group loyal to the Minister of State for Education, Mr. Nyesom Wike, was hatched by the Presidency and the national leadership of party.

“It might soon be extended to other “marked” governors such as the Niger State Governor, Muazu Babangida Aliyu; his Sokoto counterpart, Aliyu Wamakko; Kebbi State Governor, Alhaji Saidu Dakingari; Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwakwanso.

“Those still on the watch list of the Presidency and the party leadership to ascertain where their loyalty lies include Liyel Imoke of Cross River State, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, Sulivan Chime of Enugu State, Martin Elechi of Ebonyi State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State, Hassan Dankwambo of Gombe State.

“Those whose loyalty appeared to have been confirmed at least for now in the North are Gabriel Suswan of Benue State, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State and his Bauchi State counterpart Isah Yuguda, both of whom are already jostling for the vice president slot in 2015. Others in the South are Theodore Orji of Abia State, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa Governor Seriake Dickson.

“ As a sign of what lies ahead for opposing governors, the man who was instrumental in the originating summon which the court relied upon to sack the party executive in Rivers state loyal to Ameachi is the Edo State chairman of the party, Mr. Dan Orbi, who is also Chief Tony Anenih’s points man. It was Orbih, who, in his affidavit, said that the results paraded by the sacked state exco chairman, Godspower Akeh, did not emanate from the congress that he had conducted in the state more than a year ago.”

The source further disclosed that the dilly-dallying of the Presidency on the crisis rocking the party in Adamawa State between groups loyal to the party national chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Governor Murtala Nyako with Tukur gaining the upper is a clear sign that Nyako may have lost out.

On the fate of Jigawa State Governor, Sule Lamido and his alleged presidential ambition, the source said the Presidency is still watching him although his son has a pending case of money-laundering with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Speaking on the development, a member of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party told The Guardian yesterday that it appeared Tukur has gained upper hand against the governors in the fight with the backing of the Presidency.

On the plans to deal with the opposing governors, the NWC member said it was never discussed in their meetings, but expressed surprise with the sack of the Rivers State exco of the party loyal to Amaechi and the subsequent swearing-in of the faction loyal to Wike.

“We never envisaged it, but there is nothing we can do about it because we are ordinary members. Certain decisions on the party are taken at the Presidency and might not be communicated. It appeared the development was a warning to other opposing governors ahead of the party NEC meeting to be cautious of their opposition to the Presidency and national leadership of the party ahead 2015,” the member stressed.

A member of the BoT who was on the entourage that visited Amaechi before the sack of the state exco of the party expressed worry that the development might mar the effort already made in resolving the crisis rocking the party.

An aide to one of the “marked” governors in the North told The Guardian that they are aware of the plot to use some people from the state, including senators to level false allegations of corruption against his boss and subsequently unleash anti-graft agencies on some state government officials to distract the governor.

“We are not surprised but they will definitely fail in the plot because my boss has nothing to hide and has always been on the part of the truth and good governance,” the aide said.

Meanwhile, the party has yesterday in Abuja announced that it had concluded arrangements to ratify the amendments it effected on its constitution last year.

To this effect, the party said the National Executive Committee (NEC) would soon meet to carry out the ratification of the amended constitution.

In a statement issued by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, after a meeting of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC), it was also disclosed that “one of the items to be presented at the impending NEC meeting would be the issue of setting up standing and ad-hoc committees in the party.”

According to Metuh’s statement, the approval of NEC would “assist in widening the scope of participation by party stakeholders in the mobilization and sensitization efforts and help the national leadership in driving the vision and manifesto of the party to ensure the success of the Transformation Agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP administration.”

“A major issue in the amendments to the party constitution as carried out during its March, 2012 national convention is the additional power given to President Goodluck Jonathan to nominate members of the enlarged national caucus of the party.

“The revised constitution of the party empowered Jonathan to singularly nominate six governors one from every geo-political zone as members of the party’s national caucus.

The amendment has also included all members of the party’s NWC in the national caucus.

The amendment also took care of the issue of waiver for returning or new members of the party.

“ Section 8(8) spelt out the procedure to be adopted for applying for a waiver while a new Section 50(10) provides the level of authority for decision making on the applications for waivers. Section 50(11) provides appellate procedures for aggrieved parties at the various levels.

According to the report, “The office of the PDP deputy national chairman, whose functions have not been properly spelt out, has now been given a clear-cut role as Section 35(2) and (4) provide that “there shall be a deputy national chairman who shall come either from the northern or the southern part of the country, depending on the part of the country the national chairman hails from.

Source: The Guardian



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