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2011: Plot to replace Yar’Adua with N-East gov thickens

By Daniel Idonor

ABUJA -  A thicken plot by some powerful Northern men in the ranks of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to ensure that a second-term governor from the North-East run for the 2011 presidential election should the incumbent President Umaru Yar’Adua declines to run in the political race, yesterday filtered into the air.

A source at the PDP headquarters that is also close to the highly outspoken governor told journalists that following this move, the governor and his group are relentless in ensuring that adequate resources are immediately deployed to lobby the PDP top hierarchy to support him in 2011 bid.

According to the source, the governor has unequivocally declared that he will contest the 2011 presidential election should Yar’Adua declines to run for the top job.

“I want to confirm to you that the governor is serious about the Presidency and is doing everything to actualise his dreams. He knows that if President Yar’Adua decides to contest for a second term, his chances are limited, but he is not giving anything to chance. He has been so close to the PDP leadership for some time now, and only God knows the level of acceptance he is getting.

“Apart from shopping for a loyalist to succeed him, he is also reaching out to key
politicians from across the other five geopolitical zones to curry favour, since the south cannot contest in 2011 having ruled for eight years under former President Olusegun Obasanjo,” the source said.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: “Since it is the turn of the north to retain the presidency till 2015, the governor has so far reached out to many governors under the PDP, together with some who are expected to cross-carpet to the party from the opposition parties.

“He is prepared to use money to actualise his dream. He was said to have doled out some millions to some officials at the PDP headquarters.

At the moment, the governor is a regular figure at the PDP head office and the seat of power at the Villa, ostensibly to establish enough friendship with those that matter,” the source said.


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