2015: PDP Faces Crises In 17 States

It was learnt that shortly after Jonathan’s  adoption, First Lady Patience Jonathan, Secretary to the Government of the Federation Anyim Pius Anyim, members of the Board of Trustees(BOT), ministers, some presidential aides and ex-governors became  interested in anointing governors.

As at press time, the fate of hitherto anointed candidates of the governors was unknown, leaving many state helmsmen to go into pacts with the President.

Some of those unsure of their automatic tickets are  Governor Bala Ngilari; ex-EFCC Chairman, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu;  House Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha; ex-Senate Leader Teslim Folarin; ex-Minister Emeka Wogu; ex-Minister Ali Pate;  former Minister of Health Prof. Chukwu; ex-Permanent Secretary Tony Obuh; a former General Manager (Crude) of NNPC, Mr. Jeddy Agba; ex-Minister Musiliu Obanikoro; ex-Governors Ikedi Ohakim and Bayo Alao-Akala.

Others are the President of Pan African Parliament, Hon. Bethel Amadi; Sen. Chris Anyanwu;  Ngozi Olojeme; House of Representatives member Ndudi Elumelu, ex-Minister Samuel Ortom; Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi;  Auwal Tukur, son of the suspended former PDP National Chairman Bamanga Tukur; ex-Minister Nyesom Wike; ex-Minister Labaran Maku and Sen. Solomon Ewuga, among others.

A member of the NWC, who spoke in confidence, said: “The PDP has never been in this mess. We have had issues from the election of delegates to the imposition of candidates.

“The governors are also insisting on the ‘gentleman agreement’ they had with the President. As you are resolving a problem in a state, another crops up. Yet, contrary to our permutations, the APC seems to enjoy more stability than the ruling party.

“I can tell you that we are likely to have more post-primaries challenges to address than presently the case.”

Another top party source said: “Already, there is tension in the party as some chieftains like Governor Martin Elechi and ex-Governor Bayo Alao Akala, threatening to defect if the perceived injustice from ward congresses and House of Assembly primaries are not addressed.

“Some of the governors are displeased with the situation of things. They are regretting tagging along with the President instead of taking their destiny in their hands.”

In Nasarawa State, the party is in disarray on who to choose among veteran governorship aspirant Sen. Solomon Ewuga, ex-Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku and Deputy Governor Dameshi B. Luka.

Although these stakeholders joined forces to move against Governor Tanko Al-Makura, the plot has backfired as they refused to agree on a consensus candidate among themselves. It a tough terrain for Maku who had looked forward to an easy ride.

In Adamawa, the Principal Secretary to the President, Amb. Hassan Tukur, yesterday appeared to have had his way  in installing his age-long friend Ribadu with the shift of Adamawa National Assembly and governorship primaries to Abuja by the NWC of the PDP in defiance of the guidelines.

With the boycott of the primaries by Governor Bala Ngilari and five other aspirants, Ribadu may emerge the PDP candidate today.

The aggrieved aspirants are Auwal Tukur, Marcus Gundiri, Sen. Abubakar Girei, Brig-Gen. Aliyu Kama and Dr. Ahmed Modibbo Mohammed.

Apart from shifting the battle to court, there may be protest votes in Adamawa State by PDP stakeholders and members.

The aggrieved stakeholders have protested to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), saying the primaries are not in line with pages 6, 7 and 8 of the PDP Electoral Guidelines for Primary Election 2014.

When Jonathan hosted Ngilari and 11 stakeholders at the Presidential Villa on Saturday night, they protested against the shift of the National Assembly and governorship primaries to Abuja.

At the meeting were ex-NADECO chieftain Air Commodore Dan Suleiman, ex-Governor Wilberforce Juta, ex-High Commissioner to Britain, Gen. Haladu Hananiya, Sen. Abubakar Girei, Sen. Grace Bent, Col. Andrawa Sawa, ex-UBEC Executive Secretary, Dr. Ahmed Mohammed Modibbo and Gen. Aliyu Kamar.

The source said: “They urged the President to call the National Secretariat of PDP to order as its action may cause disunity in Adamawa State chapter.”

Though Jonathan promised to “look into” their grievances, the party went ahead to conduct the primaries last night in Abuja.

For the gubernatorial race in Imo State, ex-Governor Ikedi Ohakim is banking on his family’s relationship with Mrs. Jonathan to take on Deputy Speaker Emeka Ihedioha, who ought to enjoy automatic ticket, going by the pact between the PDP members in the National Assembly and President Jonathan.

But the Presidency is yet to forgive the plot in the House of Representatives in June 2011 which led to the emergence of Speaker Aminu Tambuwal and Ihedioha against the party’s zoning formula.

The contest in the state has turned more complex because Sen. Ifeanyi Ararume,  the political godson of the Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, is also jostling for the ticket.

Others in the race are Sen. Chris Anyanwu, the President of Pan African Parliament, Bethel Amadi and the Director of Mobilisation of PDP, Jerry Chukwueke.

Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan is under pressure from the presidency to drop his anointed governorship candidate, Tony Obuh, as the flag bearer of the PDP.

Uduaghan’s loyalist are opposed to the plot, warning Jonathan of dire consequences for his re-election in 2015.

Uduaghan had at a secret meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan traded off his senatorial ambition to pave the way for Obuh’s emergence.

But barely few days after, some forces have started mounting pressure on the Presidency to dump Obuh, following growing opposition against his candidature in Delta State.

Those on the card from Urhobo land to replace Obuh are a former executive member in Delta State, Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege, Paulinus Akpeki and ex-Principal Secretary to late President Umaru Yar’Adua David Edevbie.

The Urhobo Progressive Union (UPU) had earlier recommended Obaisi Ovie Omo-Agege(first choice) and Paulinus Akpeki( second choice). Ovie Omo-Agege was reportedly flown to Abuja yesterday from Delta State to meet some Presidency officials, but this could not be immediately confirmed.

Besides the Urhobo factor, Uduaghan has to contend with National Chairman Adamu Muazu whose close friend, Sen. Ifeanyi Okonwa is also seeking the governorship ticket. Others in the race are a former Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Victor Ochei;  ex-Minister Kenneth Gbagi (a godson of Ijaw leader Chief Edwin Clark); ex-Minister Godsday Orubebe; Elumelu; former presidential aide Sylvester Monye and the former Chairman of NSITF, Ngozi Olojeme, who is said to be the First Lady’s favourtie.

But pro-Uduaghan forces in PDP are opposed to any plot to supplant Obuh.

A source said: “Any attempt to drop Obuh will not augur well for the unity and development of the state. It is a betrayer of Uduaghan who has done much to demonstrate his loyalty to the President and the party.

“In a practical demonstration of his commitment to the party’s success in 2015, Uduaghan on Friday sacrificed his senatorial ambition for the anointing of Obuh.

“The President should not shortchange Uduaghan because dropping Obuh will affect Jonathan’s re-election bid in Delta State. He might end up not getting 25 per cent of the votes from this state.”

With the battle over the right list of delegates still in and out of court in Oyo State, Alao-Akala is fighting the political battle of his life against forces from Ibadan, including the Minister of State for FCT, Oloye Jumoke Akinjide, who is interested in Ibadan retaining the office. Akala faces stiff opposition from ex-Senate Leader Teslim Folarin; moneybag Seyi Makinde (whose list of delegates was endorsed by a Federal High Court) and Kehinde Olaosebikan, a journalist.  Though Alao-Akala is rated high for the slot, the Presidency is not keen on him “because of his incurable loyalty to ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo. It was gathered that Alao-Akala’s supporters are working on Plan B, either in Labour Party or Accord Party, if he is eventually “humiliated” by the PDP.

Another gladiator with Plan B is Elechi, who has lost control of delegates to the combined forces of Anyim and ex-Governor Sam Egwu. Chukwu, who is Elechi’s choice, is already left in the lurch because the Anyim-Egwu alliance favours Deputy Governor Dave Umahi. For Elechi and all aspirants who had earlier received his backing, defection seems the only option.

In Bauchi, the PDP National Chairman is rooting for the former Secretary to the Federal Government, Yayale Ahmed from Katagum Emirate. The governor, Alhaji Isa Yuguda, who is a specialist in grassroots /populist politics, is watching by the sideline. Yayale is to slug it out with  a former Minister of State for Health, Prof. Mohammed Ali Pate(the only aspirant with international backing ) who is with Bill Gates Foundation. Others are Deputy Leader in the Senate Abdul Ningi, Babayo Garba Gamawa, Adams Ibrahim Gumba, Aminu Hammayo and Auwal Muhammad Jauta.

Both President Jonathan and Muazu may have to realign their interests in Bauchi State. Jonathan is trying to reward Yayale for his loyalty when the late President Yar’Adua was ill and he aspired to be Acting President Muazu also wants to take full control of the state, which he lost in 2007 to Governor Isa Yuguda.

With the court rulings in his favour, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu is now  in charge of the PDP in the state. This change of political fortunes has humbled Governor Sullivan Chime, who is trying to appease Ekweremadu to uphold the concession of the governorship ticket to his lackey, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi. He has to choose from the following aspirants from Enugu North Senatorial District: Ugwuanyi, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Works, Sen. Ayogu Eze, Hon. Eugene Odo, a businessman, Dr. Maduka Onyishi and Chinedu Onu. Chime’s undoing was his alleged snubbing of Ekweremadu  when the Deputy Senate President offered the olive branch. If the court had not ruled in Ekweremadu’s favour, he would have been stranded.

In Rivers State, the pendulum swings towards ex-Minister Nyesom Wike, who is the first choice of the First Lady. Though 16 aspirants have been crying foul within their closets, they have not been campaigning like Wike.

Wike is set for a triumphal contest.But the aggrieved aspirants may vent their anger during the general elections.

In Lagos, ex-Minister Musiliu Obanikoro and businessman Jimi Agbaje, who is returning to the gubernatorial turf since 2007, are set to slug it out. Obanikoro said last week that he will not be vying for the slot with Agbaje but his sponsors who he named as Chief Olabode George and ex-Minister Adeseye Ogunlewe. Others are Gbadamosi, Doherty and Kamson.

Ogunlewe said yesterday that the party would reject candidates with thurgery background. He named nobody.

The “caucus” in Taraba State, silently being bankrolled by ex-Minister of Defence Gen Theophilus Danjuma,  is backing ex-Minister of State for Niger Delta Darius Ishaku, who is from Takum(Danjuma’s home) in the southern part of the state. Though  three other aspirants, including the sacked Acting Governor Garba Umar, David Sabo Kente and John Musa, are challenging Darius, they may not go far because the Danjuma group is entrenched.

The signal from Cross River State last night, with the loss of senatorial ticket by Senate Leader Victor Ndoma-Egba, showed that Governor Liyel Imoke has regained his rhythm.  The fight to the finish will be among “Aso Rock boy” Jeddy Agba(ex-GM Crude of NNPC) and Imoke allies(Senator Ben Ayade and a former Executive Secretary of the National Planning Commission, Fidelis Ugbo). Reports indicated last night that Imoke’s camp was having the upper hand the list of delegates.

The governorship race in Abia State is between the Presidency and  Governor Theodore Orji. Orji is backing a former Chairman of Abia Environmental Protection Agency, Okezie Ikpeazu. The Presidency’s favourites are oil magnate Sampson Uche Ogah and ex-Minister of Labour and Productivity Emeka Wogu. While Ogah may be enjoying the subtle backing of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, the ex-Minister depends on the First Lady to sail through. Others seeking the seat are Deputy Governor Acho Nwakanma, businessman Friday Nwosu, Okey Emuchay and a former MD of Hallmark Bank, Sir Mark Wabara. The governorship ticket tussle in Abia will be determined by cash because some aspirants are believed to be richer than the state government.

Though Governor Jonah Jang is completing a good but troubled tenure, he has a last battle at hand. He intends to enthrone   Sen. GNS Pwajok from Plateau North, contrary to the zoning formula  in favour of Plateau South. The forcible attempt to alter the formula may lead to PDP losing the state unless Jang retraces his step today at the primary.

Others in the crowded race are Amb. Ignatius Longjan, John Alkali, Sen. Victor Lar, Jimmy Cheto, Prof. Wapmut, Chief Godfrey Miri and Prof. Sunny Tyoden.

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