The crisis in the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which appears to have waned with the emergence of Alhaji Adamu Muazu as national chairman, may resonate in the next few months. Reason: The party is currently in a fix over how to handle the challenges posed by the aspirations of its governors most of whom have indicated interest to gun for the Senate at the end of their tenure in 2015.
According to a highly placed source in the PDP, the challenge ahead of the party is two-pronged: allowing the second-term governors automatic tickets to the Senate even as the governors will simultaneously decide their successors.
The second leg of the challenge is allowing the governors to go through the rigours of party primaries with the possibility of some of them losing out in the process. This, the source said, has the potential of breeding “bad blood with far-reaching implications”.
As at the last count, no fewer than 10 of the PDP governors have their eyes on the Senate. They are Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom), Emmanuel Uduaghan (Delta), Isa Yuguda (Bauchi), Gabriel Suswam (Benue), Martins Elechi (Ebonyi), Ibrahim Shehu Shema (Katsina), Sullivan Chime (Enugu), Theodore Orji (Abia), Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger) and Jonah Jang (Plateau).
The source, a member of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT), expressed fears that “it will take uncommon wisdom for the PDP to wriggle itself out of the challenge”.
He stated: “The issue is very delicate and, from all indications, in a matter of months, there is likely to be another round of crisis of confidence that we will struggle to manage because of the ambitions of nearly all our governors who desire to go to the Senate in 2015.
“Ordinarily, it is not as if they do not have the right to aspire; but what we are worried about is how to manage the outcome of their desires; either positive or negative, such will affect our party because we are all living witnesses to what is happening now at the Senate where former governor-senators are almost tearing the upper house apart but for the statesmanship of the Senate president.
“If, for instance, the party knew that some of these former governor-senators were going to be as unhelpful as they now are to the PDP, the party would not have played softly giving them the tickets because we know how some of them got their tickets; most of them got theirs by default and through means one is ashamed to disclose, just because they were governors.
“Now, the same scenario is rearing its ugly head where almost all our governors say they want to go to the Senate. One, they have the money, they have the people to control and thereby installing their successors; you should know what that means to the party because a senator controlling the structures of the PDP in the state means that danger is ahead; and multiply this by the number of governors. I can bet you that 10 former governors who are senators can upset the polity, which is dangerous.”