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Governors may stay away from Jonathan’s declaration

The then Vice-Presidential candidate Goodluck Jonathan campaigning with then President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007.

•PDP election guidelines tear Jonathan, govs apart
•Why only 3 govs attended IBB’s declaration

By Dayo Benson, Political Editor
Indication that some governors are not comfortable with  President Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential aspirations can be confirmed as Saturday Vanguard has gathered that some of them will boycott today’s  event.

It was reliably gathered that some governors who were willing to attend last Wednesday declaration of  General Ibrahim Babangida but were indirectly hindered from doing so, had resolved to equally stay away from President Jonathan’s show today.

The reason, a source confirmed, shows that the governors might not support Jonathan at the most crucial moment, especially as the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, primary election guideline released Wednesday placed the governorship primary before that of the President.

Speaking on the decision of some governors to boycott today’s declaration, the source said, “the governors felt that if they were not freely allowed to associate with Babangida, then they will not identify with Jonathan.”

Saturday Vanguard also learnt why only three governors attended Wednesday declaration by former military president Gen Ibrahim Babangida’s intention to contest 2011 presidential election.

Niger State governor, Aliyu Babangida, was said to have attended the occasion not only in his capacity as governor of the state where Gen Babangida hails but also as chairman of Northern Governors Forum.

However, both governors Murtala Nyako of Adamawa state and Aliyu Shinkafi of Zamfara state were said to have graced the occasion based on their past and present relationships with the former military ruler.

While Gov Nyako, a retired Naval rear-admiral, was a member of Armed Forces Ruling Council (AFRC), the highest military organ during Babangida’s regime, Gov Shinkafi is said to be his in-law.

PDP guidelines tear Jonathan, govs apart Nevertheless, a source close to the Presidency revealed that the PDP primaries guidelines as approved by the party’s National Executive Committee, NEC, had the blessing of President Jonathan who the source said was convinced he would pick the presidential ticket in a free and fair contest.

The source further disclosed that the governors were not happy with the new rule of the party that required political appointees such as Commissioners, special advisers and personal assistants to resign and contest if they wished to be delegates.

It was learnt that the governors who saw this as an assault on their influence preferred the old order that made their aides automatic delegates.

Besides, they were said not to be happy with the new arrangement which they believe would make the primaries more expensive.

“This is an indication that there is power tussle between the governors and the establishment”.


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