* As North plots revenge over zoning palaver
By Jide Ajani, Deputy Editor
Chief Olusegun Obasanjoâ€™s present position of Â chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, of the ruling PDP appears to be on line asÂ the North seeks to take revenge for his stance to deny that part of the country the presidency in next yearâ€™s election.
Northern politicians are already holding consultations on the matter and they are expected to move against him under the partyâ€™s planned reforms.
An informed source told Sunday Vanguard in Abuja that the plotÂ to end Chief Obasanjoâ€™s tenure as the BoT chairman by the end of this yearÂ precededÂ President Umaru Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s death.
â€œBefore the death of former President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua, some members of the BoT had made up their mind on how Obasanjo should be removed as BoT chairman because of some of his activities which were consideredÂ irritatingâ€, the source said.
â€œPlans have already been perfected with a view to removing this man but the Deputy National Chairman of the Party, Dr Haliru Bello, kept dilly-dallying and before you knew what was happening, Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s health problems started and eventually the then President died.â€
A BoT member said several northern politicians were irritated by the way Obasanjo is â€œforcing himself on President Goodluck Jonathan and this has reached a very embarrassing level.â€
â€œThe northern leaders told me that with the way JonathanÂ is allowing Obasanjo to be seen as having a free reign on his administration, there are bound to be problemsâ€.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that, indeed, northern leaders have formally complained to President Jonathan.
â€œThe northern leaders paid a visit to President Jonathan and made their reservations known to the President.
â€œThey said they did not like the way Obasanjo is being seen as the one running the government.
â€œThey also told the President that they did not have anything against him but that should he continue to allow Obasanjo to be seen as having a free reign, then the President would have to contend with some form of discomfort.â€
The President was said to have told the northern leaders that much as he accords Chief Obasanjo the respect due to him, he was not expected to be rude to him.
One of the leaders told Sunday Vanguard that â€œafter Obasanjo forced Yarâ€™Adua on the north and the nation with all its attendant implications, should he now be the one repudiating zoning in the country?â€
However, Sunday Vanguard could not immediately confirm President Jonathanâ€™s disposition to the issue.
Chief Obasanjoâ€™s tenure as chairman of the BoT expires in 2012.
Obasanjo became chairman in 2007 in a palace coup based on the now amended provisions which he, Obasanjo engendered and which states that only past presidents of PDP extraction can be qualified to chair the BoT.