Former president Goodluck Jonathan is set to be called upon to intervene in the face-off between the five opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors and the party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
According to Leadership Newspaper, some party leaders were mulling a high-powered meeting with Jonathan following the intractable crisis. It was gathered that the plan to meet with Jonathan followed the recent outburst by the Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, who accused Atiku of unfair treatment.
The move to seek Jonathan’s intervention on the matter, it was learnt, was against the backdrop that the key aggrieved governors were his political scions who worked under him as federal ministers.
While the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike, worked as minister of Education under Jonathan’s presidency, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed and Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom were minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and minister of state Trade and Investment, respectively.
According to a source, who is a member of the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Council, the countermeasure is being planned in light of the notion that the governors may have made up their minds not to work for the party.
The source said, “There is no way we will continue to be going back and forth because of a group of governors who seem to have made up their minds collectively to work against the candidate of the party because of one man whose commitment to the PDP had been questionable for long.”
Asked who that ‘one man’ was, the source said: “There is no need hiding from the truth any longer; the whole thing we are seeing in the PDP being manifested by Wike and his group is orchestrated for President Jonathan.
“We have ample intelligence that these governors are inspired by Jonathan. He benefitted from this party and it is bad that he is encouraging Governors Nyesom Wike, Makinde, Ikpeazu, Ugwuanyi and Ortom to behave the way they are doing. He knows these five governors are fighting his cause.
“We got so convinced about this when the Bauchi governor, Bala Mohammed, brought in his own angle to it. That was unnecessary and we all know that Bala is the closest northern politician to Jonathan whether in power or not.
“So, what the party has resolved to do, among others, is to send a powerful delegation to the former president to plead with him to intervene. The delegation is not going to accuse the former president but to merely plead with him to forgive Atiku because we already know what is brewing underground.
“For instance, today (yesterday), Wike and his colleagues are (were) in Bauchi. Do we need any prophet to tell us what they are up to? We know where they are coming from, but they will all fail.”
The source, however, added that the party could not afford to appease them perpetually, especially when it seems that nothing the party does that can satisfy them.
“There are so many routes to any market, so if these five governors think they can hold us to ransom, they have failed. We have put in place enough measures to circumvent their antics in what looks like an effective shadowing so that they will not sabotage us.
“Already, the party’s Board of Trustees has tentatively approved that all concerned chapters are fortified with focus on certain personalities who have influence in their various states. And when the time comes, Nigerians will know that the G-5 or whatever you call them are a powerless minority,” he said.
When contacted, former national publicity secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, admitted that there were various attempts to resolve the issues, which were still ongoing.
He told our correspondent that the party leadership was still involved in moves to resolve the issues.
“Yes, this is one of the various attempts at resolving the issues. And I can assure you that our party leaders have not given up on our governors.
“We will put all these issues behind us soon. We urge Nigerians not to despair. Efforts are on to reconcile everyone. PDP will surely rescue Nigeria,” he said.
Attempts to get a reaction from the former president were unsuccessful as a text message sent to his media aide was not replied to.
Similarly, calls made to the PDP national publicity secretary, Debo Ologunagba, was not picked as well.