* Ex-president nominates Nyako, Lamido, Shagari
* Govs prefer Yuguda, Babangida, Lamido
By Jide Ajani, Deputy Editor & Henry Umoru
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is piling pressure on President Goodluck Jonathan to look in the direction of Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and Alhaji Muktar Shagari, deputy governor of Sokoto State in picking his deputy.
The Governors Forum, on the other hand is rooting for Governors Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Sule Lamido and Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that Chief Obasanjo has been piling pressure on President Jonathan to make a choice from his proposals on the strength of his knowledge of their ability and integrity.
He is a strong backer of the President and wants him to seek the PDP presidential ticket for next yearâ€™s election.
Gen. Obasanjo said recently that PDP has no zoning policy.
Murtala Nyako, a retired naval officer served under Obasanjoâ€™s military regime as the first military governor of Niger State, while Lamido and Shagari were members of his cabinet.
On their part, governors elected on the platform of the PDP reportedly nominated three.
Their nominees are Babangida Aliyu of Niger State, Sule Lamido of Jigawa State and Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State, representing each of the three northern geo-political zones viz: north central, north west and north east.
Sunday Vanguard learnt yesterday that the PDP governors as stakeholders would meet this week to further deliberate on the issue of who becomes the vice president.
The sources said the governors are favourably disposed to the emergence of a vice president who can work with Jonathan.
The position of the governors that one of them should become the vice president appears to be a pointerÂ that they are opposed to the emergence of the secretary of the government of the federation, SGF, Alhaji Yayale Ahmad and the national security adviser, NSA, Lt. Gen. Aliyu Gusau asÂ the nationâ€™s number two citizen.
The sources said that, left to the governors, none ofÂ Ahmed and Gusau will scale through for the
position of vice president, and recalled thatÂ former President Olusegun Obasanjoâ€™s choice ofÂ governor-elect in the person of ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar must be the guiding principle, adding that Yarâ€™AduaÂ through the machinery of the PDP alsoÂ picked a governor, Jonathan, as the vice presidential candidate before the 2007Â election.
Jonathan weighs all options
There were indications, yesterday, that Murtala Yarâ€™Adua, son of the founder of the Peoples Democratic Movement and former Chief of Staff Supreme Headquarters between 1976 and 1979, late General Shehu Musa Yarâ€™Adua, is top on the list of contenders for the number two spot. Murtala is minister of state for defence.
A presidency source said yesterday, â€œPresident Goodluck Jonathan has not told anybody that he wants to contest the presidential elections of next year.
â€œEven on the issue of nominating somebody for the number two spot, remember that we are still in a mourning mood so it would not be too appropriate to be waxing pontifical on who the choice of vice president would be.
â€œBut talks are on-going and anything can happenâ€.
Sunday Vanguard, however, can confirm that one of the key factors that would determine the choice of who emerges as vice president would be interest in the 2011 presidential contest.
The thinking in Jonathanâ€™s camp is one which favours a vice president who would not have his eyes focused on 2011 as a successor in Aso Rock.
This, it was gathered, is because there is a gathering momentum and pressure on Jonathan to quickly fill the slot of the South South by contesting after which the North can then have a fresh tenure.
A dependable source in the Presidency informed Sunday Vanguard that the dilemma now is whether â€œJonathan should just contest next year and a northerner comes in by 2015 to do a fresh set of two terms.
â€œOr, conversely, whoever emerges next year as President of Nigeria but of northern extraction would merely throw the constitution at you if you say he shouldnâ€™t go for a second term of office.
â€œWhat that would meanâ€, the source continued, â€œis that the north would be having more than the two terms of eight years.
â€œAnd that is why it may even be more pragmatic for the man there now to contest the presidency, contrary to the doomsday some politicians are already predicting.Â Why stockpile wood for tomorrowâ€™s bonfire when you can tackle the issue head-onâ€, the source opined.
Meanwhile, in line with its quest to continue the control of the presidency, the Arewa Consultative Forum, ACF, â€œwould likely be making a presentation to President Jonathan very soon on this issue,â€ a source in Kaduna informed Sunday Vanguard.