- Category: Politics
- Published on Friday, 27 August 2010 04:38
- Written by Admin
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The purported appointment of Senator Dalhatu Sarki Tafida as director-general of the Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organisation has sparked disquiet among the various pro-Goodluck Jonathan groups.
While the appointment of Tafida, who is currently Nigeria’s high commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), is yet to be made official, the speculation of his name as the arrowhead of Jonathan/Sambo team for the 2011 presidential poll is generating negative ripples amongst President Jonathan loyalists.
Daily Sun gathered that most of the support groups, stakeholders and other politicians rooting for President Jonathan to return as president in 2011 were highly disturbed by the impending appointment of Senator Tafida.
A member of the Friends of Democracy for Goodluck Jonathan headed by the special adviser to the president on National Assembly matters told our correspondent on condition of anonymity, that Senator Tafida was a wrong choice to head the Jonathan Campaign Organization.
According to him, “Tafida is a member of the old order. If we are serious about changing the lives of our people, personalities like Tafida should not be in a position of influence. His present ambassadorial position is a good post where he can wind down to retirement.” He further explained that Senator Tafida, who was the Senate majority leader between 2003 and 2007, was already far above 70 years and thus might not be in a position to drive a vigorous and energy-sapping presidential campaign and be expected to deliver.
At the secretariat of the Support Group for Jonathan, the matter was the subject of discussion by various groups of stakeholders that gathered to verify if the appointment of Senator Tafida was true. A member of the Board of Directors of the Support Group of Jonathan, which is believed to have been set up by the Presidency to coordinate the various campaign groups, told Daily Sun on condition of anonymity that the group had met over the matter with a resolve to send a delegation to President Jonathan to explain the possible implication of having Tafida as head of the campaign organization.
According to the director, “we have vibrant young men who are very articulate, passionate and are already doing a fantastic job on Project Jonathan 2011. One of them should be appointed as the director-general and certainly not Tafida.” He explained that if the appointment of Tafida was allowed to go on, it would send a wrong signal to those who had been working hard for President Jonathan.
“What has Senator Tafida contributed to deserve such a high profile appointment?” he queried, adding that the development might force a lot of people to leave the Jonathan Campaign Group. He further said, “I can tell you, if Tafida is confirmed as D-G of Jonathan Campaign Organization, I and many others will resign our present appointment and join Babangida as it will simply mean that President Jonathan is not serious about his election and I will mobilize people to follow me.”
A senator from the South-east geo-political zone, who was at the Support Group for Jonathan secretariat also told Daily Sun that the issue should not get people, particularly, members of the Support Group, worked up saying that the purported appointment of Tafida might just be a kite being flown by some other groups. He, however, agreed that the strong opposition to Senator Tafida’s appointment would enable the Presidency understand that the Nigeria’s ambassador to the UK was not welcome by all and sundry in the project particularly the foot soldiers.
A Presidency source, however, said Senator Tafida had not been appointed as the director-general of 2011 Jonathan/Sambo Campaign Organization adding, however, that his name was one of those being considered for the plum job. According to the Presidency source; “I can tell you that the president is still consulting and the consideration of names for the post of D-G and other vital appointments in the campaign organization is part of Mr. President’s consultation.
“President Jonathan will not do something that will jeopardize his chances of returning as president in 2011 and if Senator Tafida as director general will scuttle that, then he will not be named, simple.” Attempts made to get the Chairman of the Friends of Democracy for Goodluck Jonathan, Senator Mohammed Abba-Aji comment on the matter proved abortive as he neither picked his calls nor responded to the text messages sent to him.
As the nation eagerly awaits the declaration of President Jonathan for 2011 presidential election, attention is being paid to who becomes the director-general of his campaign organization as it is expected that the personality to be appointed would go a long way to make or mar his chances at the presidential poll in 2011.