By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North & Henry Umoru
ABUJA — President Goodluck Jonathan and his Bamanga Tukur-led faction of the Peoples Democratic Party may be heading for further isolation, as another five incumbent governors of the party may soon dump them for the Abubakar Baraje faction, otherwise known as New PDP (nPDP).
The five governors, who are drawn from two geo-political zones in the North and South, are said to be upset by alleged continuous manipulations in the party by the Presidency and the chairman, thereby alienating them from the mainstream.
Besides, Vanguard learnt that the affected governors maintained that there was no justification to support Jonathan’s second term bid when majority of their natives were opposed to the move.
The governors said they were convinced that the so-called peace moves will not produce any meaningful results, as they were merely stage-managed to buy time for Jonathan to secure a second term in office.
One of the governors told Vanguard that they were just waiting for the appropriate moment to defect to the nPDP with a view to actualising their political dreams.
Asked to state what the grievances of the defecting governors were, the governor said the decision was to save them from undue manipulation being orchestrated by the Presidency and the PDP leadership to give a second term chance to the President.
“What will happen is that very soon some of the PDP governors, who are watching the rest of us from the sidelines, will join and declare their support for us.
“It is because of the likely overwhelming support, which the Tukur group and the Presidency know we enjoy that they keep on talking about peace and reconciliation when in reality they are not ready for an early resolution of the crisis rocking the party.”
Vanguard learnt that the grouse of the five governors who are jumping ship might not be unconnected with the fear that most of them could be dumped and made to face severe consequences if Jonathan won a second term.
They are said to have given examples of those who were given solid assurances by the Presidency to work with him but were jettisoned after he won the election in 2011.
“What most Nigerians do not know is that we suffered a lot to make Jonathan President and today he is using people who did not know how we enthroned him, to harass and intimidate some of us,” a governor from one of the northern states lamented.
“Look at the way the President is using state apparatus to fight the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, for instance, who risked his life and some of his supporters to give him one of the highest votes in the last election.
“What justification does the President have in persecuting the seven governors, who went out of their way to mobilise voters in their states to elect him,” a governor asked.
Vanguard learnt that the five governors were likely to move out of mainstream PDP anytime they consider most suitable, apparently to send further shock waves to the leadership that they were unhappy with the system.
Defection bid not true — PDP
But the Tukur group, yesterday, dismissed the threat of defection as a huge joke by those trying to cause trouble in the party. The Deputy National Chairman of the Tukur faction, Prince Uche Secondus, who was contacted last night on the development, described the information as false and a propaganda by the opposing faction to gain unmerited attention.
“The claim that five more governors are planning to defect to the other side is complete falsehood and is part of the propaganda by the opposition,” Secondus said.
The PDP split into two last August, leading to series of rapprochements, which are yet to produce a lasting peace in the party.