By Kingsley Fanwo
LOKOJA—The national leadership of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has put measures in place to avoid a rancorous primary in Kogi State.
PDP has been in power in the state since 2003 when Alhaji Ibrahim Idris defeated the then incumbent, Prince Abubakar Audu, of the defunct All Nigerian Peoples Party in a tense election.
Sources told the Vanguard that the party was worried about the activities of some leaders in the state pushing against the governor.
A chieftain of the party who craved anonymity, said the national leadership was deploying its machineries to ensure that the party was united ahead of the governorship election.
“It is true that the national leadership of the party is not comfortable with the behind-the-scenes activities of some of our leaders who are based in Abuja.
“A handful of them are kicking against the candidature of the governor. They have not told us why they don’t want the governor but their reason cannot certainly be based on performance because the governor has remained heavily popular in the state due to his performance in the major sectors of the economy.
“What I think is the problem is the personal ambitions of some of those leaders who are looking at what they can personally gain from an orchestrated implosion.
“I know that a former Senator is positioning himself to become the running mate of one of the aspirants. All his supporters went with the aspirant to obtain his intent forms,” he said.
However, the camp of the governor has been moving to counter the scheming of the opposition elements within the party.
The Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Prince Richard Akanmode, has called for cohesion within the party to make it formidable ahead of the November 21 governorship poll in the state.
According to Prince Akanmode, it is important for the party to use its advantage of having a sitting governor who has performed creditably well to tame the momentum of the opposition APC in the state.
He said it would be foolhardy to change a governor that had performed creditably over the past three and a half years.
To Mr. Jacob Edi, Special Adviser to the Governor on Media and Strategy, the governor is merely exercising his right to contest the forthcoming governorship election.
He said Governor Wada has laid a good foundation for the development of the state and would use the next four years to consolidate on his achievements.
However, Wadata Plaza has been worried by the turn of events in Kogi State as aspirants are locked in bitter rivalry ahead of the governorship primaries of the party slated for next month.
It was alleged that the media aide of one of the aspirants had been posting very damaging materials against the governor on social media, a situation which party leaders in the state considered unacceptable and an affront on the party.
Insiders say all is not well within the PDP camp at the moment as a lot of contending forces are in political attrition to hijack the machinery of the party.
A former senator from Kogi West is said to be in the forefront of antagonism against the re-election of the governor.
His grouse, it was alleged, had to do with what he termed the failure of the governor to deliver the state to the PDP in the last presidential and National Assembly elections.
However, the governor’s handlers have been striving to exonerate the governor from the abysmal performance of the party in the said elections, blaming the performance of the party on what they called the “Buhari Hurricane”.
Barring any last minute drastic moves which are increasingly unlikely, the governor is well positioned to pick the ticket of the party, having succeeded in muscling himself into the control room of the State Working Committee.
The governor is said to be in firm control of the party machinery in the state.