WITH the 2011 general elections over, winners have continued to count their blessings, while some losers have decided to seek legal redress at the law courts.

For victorious President Goodluck Jonathan, he has since found solace at Obudu Cattle Ranch in Cross River State, where he has retreated and is using the opportunity to brainstorm among others on how to restructure his cabinet for the next dispensation.

For now, the once quiet Obudu has been turned into a beehive of activities as it has been stormed by appointment-seeking  politicians.

According to a statement by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Ima Niboro, the president was accompanied to the retreat at Obudu by some senior government officials and his aides.

Obudu Mountain Resort, a prime tourists’ destination in the country, is situated on a plateau at 1,576 metres above sea level. It provides accommodation in form of Standard Suites, Governors’ Lodge and the Presidential Retreat Area, also called the Presidential Villa, which is the highest point on the ranch. The Presidential Villa has a helipad among many other amenities.

The retreat will afford the president-elect time to unwind and reflect on the formation of the next government after his swearing-in on May 29. The retreat is aimed at ironing out issues of zoning Federal Government top offices, the new cabinet and  the formation of his planned Government of National Unity, GNU.

It is, however, instructive to state that his (Jonathan’s) predecessor, late Umaru Yar’Adua mooted the idea of forming an all_inclusive Government of National Unity. The idea, which though worked, was criticised by opposition political parties, who felt it was out to whittle the potency of the opposition in the country.

GNU not for ACN, CPC

Though the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has since discarded the idea of participating in a GNU, like it did in 2007, other political parties like the All Progressives Grand Alliance, APGA, and Labour Party, who threw their weight behind the Jonathan/Sambo presidential ticket, have shown interest.

While the ACN is believed to have played a role in the massive votes the President got in the South West even though he lost in Osun State,  APGA, on the other hand is seen as a motivating factor for the huge support given Jonathan in the South-East.

But refuting the claim by the ACN that it was responsible for the massive vote recorded in the South West, the PDP in the region has attributed the victory to the PDP.

Meantime, the CPC  has said it did not intend to participate in the GNU owing to its plan to contest the outcome of the presidential elections.

Mr Yinka Odumakin, spokesman of CPC Presidential Candidate, Maj General Muhammadu Buhari told Vanguard that, “for a party that came into being nine months to the elections, it is clear that it is the party to beat. The desire that has already been expressed by other opposition party to form a Government of National Unity, based on the rigged and flawed elections, it shows that the CPC has emerged a major opposition party in Nigeria, to give hope to our people, to galvanise them for credible change.”

Struggle for position

Meanwhile, ahead of the composition of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, the leadership of the PDP has continued to engage in series of meetings with the President on very sensitive national and party issues.

Leading the pack is the acting chairman of the PDP, Dr. Bello Haliru, who was said to have left Abuja to join President Jonathan to make inputs into the new list of Ministers.

Informed sources disclosed  that Dr Mohammed is also expected to discuss with President Jonathan the zoning arrangement of positions especially with regard to the leadership of the National Assembly (the Senate and the House of Representatives) because of the distortion of the 2007 zoning arrangement following the death of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, even as the party National Secretary, Alhaji Abubakar Kawu Baraje, who is presently outside the country is also expected to join the Acting National Chairman at Obudu Ranch.

Obasanjo factor

One person, who cannot be easily brushed aside in the scheme of things is former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

The Chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT of the PDP, has become a force to reckon with, especially in the corridors of power.

In the administration of the late President Yar’Adua, he played a vital role in the composition of his cabinet.

For now, his Hilltop country home, Abeokuta,  has become a Mecca of sort. This is because members of his party, who believe he has the listening ears of Jonathan, are mounting pressure on him to throw his weight behind them and get them political offices.

Not to be left out, stakeholders of the party in the South West also want to attract juicy positions to the region.


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.