PDP Crisis Depeens As Presidency Renews Verbal Attack on 5 Northern Governors
The reconciliation meeting held between President Goodluck Jonathan, former president Olusegun Obasajo and some prominent governors in the Peoples Democratic Party may have failed to achieve any result as the presidency yesterday renewed its verbal warfare with five northern states’ governors, describing their trips across the country and alleged consultations with some prominent Nigerian leaders as deceitful.
The five northern governors – Aliyu Babangida of Niger State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano State, Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State and Aliyu Wamako of Sokoto State have been criss-crossing the country and consulting with some prominent Nigerian leaders on the way out of the lingering crises in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF).
But the Presidency has faulted the governors’ move, saying that they were pursuing personal interests and using the challenges in the north as a cloak.
Speaking as the guest of the week at Liberty FM Radio yesterday in Kaduna, special assistant to the president on public affairs, Dr Doyin Okupe, said despite the moves by the governors, President Jonathan will “resoundingly” win re-election in 2015 in the event of him joining the presidential race.
Commenting on the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC), Okupe said, it will not survive till election time in 2015.
Although he admitted that the election will be keenly contested, Okupe insisted that the opposition parties, which have formed a coalition ahead of the race, will collapse before 2015.
He told his audience, “The polity is being overheated today not because of anything but because people are positioning themselves for the 2015 elections, and, unfortunately, some people are looking for handicap match. Whoever wants to take over power from Jonathan should come out and contest for it; we are ready.”
The presidential aide said the PDP will not lose sleep over the coming of the APC because it lacks foundation to match the ruling party in an electoral contest. “Who can be afraid of a thatched house that is being put together by some expired people? They won’t go far,” he said. “The coming together of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) to form APC makes it easier for us to just chance them once and for all. APC cannot last more than a year. This is a party that is formed on faulty foundation, this is a party that has come together not for the interest of the country. APC is formed not because they want to help Nigeria but because they want power and self-aggrandisement. The leaders of the APC want to expand their frontiers and they want to expand their business empires.”
He further stated: “Nigeria is not in the dream of APC apart from cheap talk. They don’t have a manifesto; they only go around painting themselves as if they are serious. They are a group of people who have no ideology except hatred or personal aggrandisement. This is not the change Nigerians want; they are not the messiah Nigerians want. APC is mega nonsense; it does not even look like a mega party.”
Okupe noted that the tension in the country is due to the fears that the president will run in 2015, adding that “nobody should stop anybody from exercising a right that is guaranteed under the country’s constitution. Nigerians must wake up and decide on what they want”.
“The problem in the country is not far-fetched: President Jonathan came in under a controversial circumstance. The north felt that with the demise of President Umaru Yar’Adua, the region should continue to produce the leadership. And some people felt that having President Jonathan as a leader is like an affront,” he added.
According to the president’s aide, the problem with Nigeria is rooted in the fact that the elite and Nigerians have not decided on the nation’s state, whether they want to have a country.
On the political crisis in Rivers State, Okupe said: “What is happening in River State is an over-dramatization of the preparation for 2015 and nothing more.”
He said the governors of Adamawa, Jigawa, Kano, Niger and Sokoto states, who are on the forefront of the anti-Jonathan campaign, were using Governor Rotimi Amaechi to further their personal interests. He said: “These five northern governors that are so motivated and concerned about the destiny of Nigeria, why were they not motivated when the Boko Haram crisis was destroying the north? Why have they not gone around the country and the north on how to solve the problem? Why were they not concerned about the thousands of people that were being bombed in their mosques and churches under their watch? They are just joking. They are doing this for their personal interest.”
Responding to the claims by former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) minister Mallam Nasir el-Rufai that Nigeria was sitting on a time-bomb, Okupe said if there was any time-bomb, “they are bombs that are being manufactured by el-Rufai and his cliques and God has not allowed those bombs to explode”.
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