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OBJ, next target of PDP’s reforms


* As North plots revenge over zoning palaver

By Jide Ajani, Deputy Editor

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s present position of   chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, of the ruling PDP appears to be on line as  the North seeks to take revenge for his stance to deny that part of the country the presidency in next year’s election.

Northern politicians are already holding consultations on the matter and they are expected to move against him under the party’s planned reforms.

An informed source told Sunday Vanguard in Abuja that the plot  to end Chief Obasanjo’s tenure as the BoT chairman by the end of this year  preceded  President Umaru Yar’Adua’s death.

“Before the death of former President Umaru Musa Yar’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 considered  irritating”, the source said.

“Plans 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, Yar’Adua’s health problems started and eventually the then President died.”

A BoT member said several northern politicians were irritated by the way Obasanjo is “forcing himself on President Goodluck Jonathan and this has reached a very embarrassing level.”

“The northern leaders told me that with the way Jonathan  is allowing Obasanjo to be seen as having a free reign on his administration, there are bound to be problems”.

Sunday Vanguard gathered that, indeed, northern leaders have formally complained to President Jonathan.

“The northern leaders paid a visit to President Jonathan and made their reservations known to the President.

“They said they did not like the way Obasanjo is being seen as the one running the government.

“They 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.”

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 “after Obasanjo forced Yar’Adua on the north and the nation with all its attendant implications, should he now be the one repudiating zoning in the country?”

However, Sunday Vanguard could not immediately confirm President Jonathan’s disposition to the issue.

Chief Obasanjo’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.


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