The All Progressives Congress (APC) has warned President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against further plots to remove any of its remaining governors.
The warning came against the background of the removal of Ádmiral Murtala Nyako as Adamawa State governor by the PDP-dominated House of Assembly and a similar process going on in Nasarawa State amid fears that there could be a repeat of these in some other APC states.
APC’s spokesperson, Alhaji Lai Mohammed confirmed the fears to Saturday Tribune on Friday but that the party was not folding its arms on the threats and would do everything to thwart such plots.
While he was not specific on steps being taken to tackle the presidency and the PDP, the APC spokesperson, however, warned rather ominously that “the current moves to decapitate the APC will end in the decapitation of Nigeria.”
Mohammed also stated that his party was monitoring the development and circumstances in which Jonathan’s former boss and one of the main backers for his re-election, D.S.P Alameyesiegha and Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha,met days back, a meeting that has caused suppressed rumpus in the APC to which Okorocha belongs.
APC governor in Nasarawa State, Tanko Al-Makura is facing impeachment process being handled by PDP-dominated House of Assembly, which is poised to run its full course.
While Nyako’s deputy, Bala Ngilari who did not decamp to APC from the PDP with the sacked governor, was not spared, Al-Makura’s deputy, Damishi Barau who dumped the APC for the PDP, was not served with impeachment notice.
Saturday Tribune learnt that the arrangement among political gladiators of the PDP in Nasarawa state was to allow Barau serve as substantive governor after Al-Makura’s impeachment but with an understanding that he would not stand for election for governor in 2015.
A PDP leader, also being projected into the race, told Saturday Tribune that the modalities were still being worked out as regards who would be the candidate in 2015 as well as putting institutional checks in place to make sure that Barau would not renege on the gentleman’s agreement after his ascension to office.
For Al-Makura, the party chieftain said his was a concluded case, despite the reported rumour of a last-minute presidential backing and assurance he allegedly got from President Jonathan, who the embattled governor has been consulting since his travails began.
APC has also alleged that the PDP-led presidency is also targeting its governors in Edo and Rivers states for impeachment and Osun for electoral tsunami in the August 9 governorship election.
Edo and Rivers Houses of Assembly have been in crises as PDP lawmakers in minority in the two states now conduct their separate plenary sittings, with suspicions that they could move against Governors Adams Oshiomhole and Rotimi Amaechi anytime soon, despite being in the minority.
Their minority status could be changed by the suspension of some of their colleagues, if they succeed in leadership change in the assembly.
It was, however, learnt that APC may have more to fear as its governors in Ogun, Borno and Imo states, are said to have become major targets for the think-tank of the PDP for possible constitutional sack.
Despite the said states not having PDP-dominated legislature, the crisis of confidence among the leaders of the party in the three states, which has polarised the legislature with the members belonging to different power blocs in the party, is to be reportedly exploited by the PDP strategists and the presidency to further decimate the opposition party.
It was learnt that the moves to get the disgruntled APC gladiators with loyal assembly members, have begun, which a source said yielded almost immediate benefit in Borno, with the defection of the state’s ultimate godfather and former governor, Ali Modu Sheriff from APC to PDP.
He is expected to move with more than two-thirds of the state lawmakers and similar percentage of National Assembly members, who are his political protégés.
A PDP source said the princely treatment being given him by the presidency since his defection is in recognition of his political influence in the state, which PDP is reportedly desperate to take to stem the tide of international embarrassment which the incumbent administration of Governor Kashim Shettima is allegedly giving the PDP-led federal government over the fight against terrorism in the state.
The unending international embarrassment over the kidnap of over 200 Chibok school girls by insurgent Boko Haram, for which the federal government has suffered serious dip in local and international ratings, is said to have been a major reason for courting a big fish like Modu Sheriff at all cost, to allegedly enforce a regime change.
A PDP chieftain told the Saturday Tribune that the battle against Boko Haram would not be won if the opposition governors are not removed, due to the suspicion that the governors are allegedly collaborating with the insurgents to blackmail and further weaken the federal government.
According to the source, “There is no way any progress would be made with those guys (governors) there. We initially thought it was a mistake for the president not to declare a total emergency that would have removed them from office during the emergency rule, but we feel this is better and tidier now and they won’t even return.”
When asked if Yobe which is also under emergency rule like Adamawa and Borno may go the impeachment way, the source said “it depends on the what the governor is ready to offer”.
It was also learnt that even the Borno State governor is no longer maintaining a rigid antagonism to the presidency again in the battle against the Boko Haram, but a party man noted that it was doubtful if Modu Sherif’s defection had not sealed his fate.
APC in Ogun State has been torn in the middle between the loyalists of Governor Ibikunle Amosun and former governor Segun Osoba.
Osoba is the beautiful bride of the opposition parties in the state, with PDP said to be making serious overtures, considering that he reportedly almost single-handedly picked the current APC members of the State House of Assembly as the party’s candidates.
All senators from the state and members of the House of Representatives are also on his side, with his ouster from the party expected to make the governor very vulnerable for impeachment.
An APC source however doubted the possibility of the presidency moving against Amosun, explaining that the governor does not play rigid politics and could even work for Jonathan in 2015 if properly approached instead of creating a crisis of impeachment in the state.