Obasanjo Cautions Jonathan to Tread Softly on G-7 Governors
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo has advised President Goodluck Jonathan to tread softly with the G-7governors who are threatening to dump the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), in the interest of the party.
The governors are Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano), Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko (Sokoto), Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara), Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers) and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa).
The governors want Alhaji BamangaTukur removed as the national chairman, even as they demand internal democracy and lifting of the suspension on Governor Amaechi, among other conditions. Although they have had a dialogue with Jonathan, peace remains elusive in the party.
A few days ago, five of the G-7 governors were in Abeokuta to meet with Obasanjo to inform him of their resolve to defect to the APC but their host reportedly cautioned them against doing so, while he reportedly advised them to embrace the party’s internal mechanism to resolve the matter. He also promised to speak with Jonathan over their agitation.
A credible source close to the former president disclosed to LEADERSHIP that Obasanjo had spoken with Jonathan, advising him against pushing the seven governors out of the party as the 2015 general election draws nearer.
The source, who is also a member of the PDP BoT, said: “Baba (Obasanjo) has spoken with President Goodluck Jonathan about the issues raised by those PDP governors. He advised him against being unnecessarily harsh on them. He reminded the president of the danger in sending seven governors away, with electioneering around the corner. He assured those governors would not leave the party, that he was talking with them and persuading them to remain with the party.”
Speaking further, the source said: “President Jonathan explained to him that he had no problem with any of the governors and that some of them like the governors of Adamawa, Rivers and Kano are having problems with the chairman of the party (Tukur) whom they want removed but that he had no such power to do so. He also told Baba that some of them were merely sympathizing with those who have lost the party machinery.
Our source also explained that Obasanjo had briefed the governors on the outcome and “that is why some of them kept away from the Sokoto Retreat organised by the Rotimi Amaechi-led Nigeria Governors’ Forum”.
Another source who corroborated him explained that although Obasanjo had been stopping the aggrieved governors from defecting to other parties but two of them would surely jump the ship.
“Former president Obasanjo is trying his best behind the scenes to stop those governors from going, but there is nothing he could do that can stop Murtala Nyako and Amaechi from leaving the party, not because of President Jonathan but because they have lost out in the power tussle in their states. So, they have no choice but to go, but the remaining five would surely remain as advised by Obasanjo whom they see as their father.”
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