2015: Jonathan Reject Obasanjo’s Condition Over Sambo
President Goodluck Jonathan has reportedly rejected the condition laif down by former President Olusegun Obasanjo if he must get his support to contest for president ahead of the 2015 Presidential election.
Although it is not new that President Goodluck Jonathan has been under pressure to drop Vice President Namadi Sambo, the pressure that seems to be so powerful is the one from President Obasanjo who is asking the President Jonathan to replace Sambo with Jigawa State governor, Alhaji Sule Lamido as his running mate for the election.
It was gathered that when President Jonathan met with former president Olusegun Obasanjo on his return trip from Paris last week where he had attended the summit on insecurity in Africa, on his 2015 presidential ambition as well to seek his advice on the spate of insurgency in the north with massive killings, kidnapping and wanton destruction of property by members of Boko Haram Sect.
At the meeting, a source disclosed that Chief Obasanjo who had initially objected to Jonathan’s return bid in 2015 following the humiliation suffered by his men, give Jonathan a condition which is to drop Sambo and take his own, Sule Lamido also from the North West geo- political zone of the country.
The President made a passionate plea for Lamido, his political son whom he made Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1999; wanted him as governor of Jigawa; he failed twice, but made it in 2007, just as it will be recalled that Chief Obasanjo had spoken twice on the sterling qualities of Lamido as a potential president of Nigeria and he is now pushing for him for the position of Vice President ahead of 2015.
This is the second time such a request will come from Obasanjo as he had put forward same proposal when he first intervened in the crisis between Jonathan and the then G7 governors prior to the defection of five of the governors to the opposition, All Progressives Congress, APC.
Lately, governor Lamido has been touted to be oiling his political machinery to give a shot at the nation’s top job.
In ‘selling’ Lamido to President Jonathan, It was gathered that Chief Obasanjo told his guest that Sule Lamido would make a better rallying point for the party in the north west come 2015, even as was optimistic that at least three of the five PDP governors who dumped the party for APC would return if he picks Lamido as his running mate.
After listening to the former President, Jonathan was said to have explained that he was yet to see what in particular, Sambo had done wrong to warrant being dropped, adding that he was more at home with Sambo as vice than any other.
It was gathered that if not for the timely intervention of former Federal Commissioner for Information and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark and Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT of PDP, Chief Tony Anenih who insisted on the Jonathan, Sambo ticket for 2015, Jonathan would have keyed in and accept Obasanjo’s proposal .
According to source, he was said to have reminded the former president that the most popular item of criticism of his administration is that he had paid lip service to corruption which in actual fact was not and that if he picks Lamido now, his opponents especially the opposition party, the All Progressives Congress, APC would feed on that to lampoon him and accuse him of endorsing corruption against the backdrop of alleged money laundering charges against two of his sons recently.
A top PDP source who disclosed this to some Journalists yesterday night said, “It is true that both leaders met on Sunday to discuss matters of national interest; you should know that it is only sensible for the president to have audience with Baba Obasanjo in view of the insecurity situation in some parts of the north.
“There is also nothing wrong in the two leaders meeting to iron out differences if at all there are, but the only snag in what a section of the media carried was just out of context; the former president cannot say President Jonathan should not run because he knows too well that Mr President has the constitutional right to run for another term.
“The only thing which I can tell you in confidence that featured in their discussions was that the former president sounded the president out on the various agitations that have mounted against his vice from the north west region of the PDP.
“He reminded the president that, unlike Abubakar Atiku in his days, Architect Namadi Sambo does not command the required political followership in the north-west zone to carry the PDP afloat if at all he (Obasanjo) decided to back Jonathan for 2015. By inference, the former leader was canvassing that Sambo be dropped for someone else.”
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