- Category: Politics
- Published on Thursday, 26 August 2010 08:11
- Written by The Nation
- Hits: 2265
GOVERNORS elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) hold the key to the ruling party’s presidential ticket in next year’s general election, Cross River State Governor Liyel Imoke has said.
He said the governors have been playing major roles in the polity and that it would be difficult for anybody not to reckon with them on any national issue.
Imoke spoke Wednesday in Calabar even as it becomes increasingly clear that the greatest opposition to President Goodluck Jonathan’s bid for a consensus candidacy in the PDP is from the governors.
Governors Bukola Saraki (Kwara), Danjuma Goje (Gombe) and Sule Lamido (Jigawa) are believed to be interested in running for president and are seeking a consensus among the governors before challenging for the party’s ticket.
It is widely believed that the failure of the president to secure the total support of the governor delayed the formal announcement of his candidature. But his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters Alhaji Abba Aji, said he would declare his intention next month after the Ramadan fasting.
Imoke confirmed that the governors would hold a meeting with President Jonathan in Lagos tomorrow where he is scheduled to inaugurate a project among other activities planned for the day. He did not disclose the agenda of the meeting.
The Lagos meeting is the second between the president and the PDP governors in 48 hours. They had met at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on Monday night.
Imoke said governors have been wielding enormous influence in the polity since 2003. Giving instances of when governors pulled their weight in the past, Imoke said, "in 2003, I was in the Presidency as a Special Adviser to President Olusegun Obasanjo when the issue of second term came up.. It was there and then that the governors decided to support him and that was why he had it.
Again in 2007, it was the decision of the state governors that Obasanjo’s successor would come from among them that eventually threw up the late President Umaru Yar’Adua as the party’s flag bearer with Jonathan as his running mate.", he said.
He however added that the ultimate power resided with "our people who have elected us to serve them"
He explained that the southsouth governors had decided to support Jonathan’s bid to retain the top job. He said there would be no going back on the decision and expressed optimism that the president would become victorious in a free and fair poll.