- Category: Politics
- Published on Tuesday, 07 September 2010 08:58
- Written by Nigerian Tribune
- Hits: 1280
GOVERNORS of states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will today meet with President Goodluck Jonathan in a bid to clear the air about foggy issues that could jeopardise the chances of the party in the 2011 general election.
Nigerian Tribune learnt that top on the agenda of the meeting is the need to fashion out a common front between the governors and President Jonathan as regards the thorny issue of zoning arrangement, which seems to have created a chasm between them and the president.
It will be recalled that some of the governors are non-committal, while some have thrown their weight behind the idea of zoning.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that one of the governors in South-South geopolitical zone recently debunked the rumour doing the rounds that he was not in support of Jona-than’s ambition.
On Sunday, some Niger Delta militants presented a five-point agenda to the aides of former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, indicating their intention to support his presidential bid should he agree to their conditions.
This move, however, coupled with the position of governors from Niger Delta, could pose a threat to the president’s bid of retaining his post.
The power sharing formula, to keen watchers of happenings in the party, had been described as an albatross that could make or mar the chances of PDP in 2011 elections.
Some governors, notably from the North-East and North-West geopolitical zones, had indicated their support for zoning, the agreement made in 1999, while other positions were shared among the remaining zones in the country.
Democrats in the country have also condemned the position of the pro-zoning arrangement, saying that it was unfair and could perpetuate the hold of the North on Nigeria.
They believe that if the principles of true federalism were to be adhered to, other zones that had not produced the president of the country should be allowed to do so.
Meanwhile, against reports of the appointment of Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Britain, Dr Sarki Tafida, as the Director General (DG) of the 2011 campaign of President Jona-than, the Special Adviser on Legal Matters to the President, Alhaji Ahmed Gulak, had dismissed such claims, even as he maintained that Jonathan was not facing opposition to his ambition to contest the election.
Speaking in Abuja, on Monday, Alhaji Gulak, who is also the national coordinator of the Goodluck Support Group (GSG), a campaign organisation mobi-lising support for Jona-than’s ambition, said nobody had been appointed to head the campaign.
According to the former speaker of the Adamawa State House of Assembly, the story of the appointment of Tafida as DG for Jonathan’s campaign was a rumour and it remained so.
When requested to comment on the appointment of Dr Tafida, he said “it is paper speculation, just like I had told you earlier. It is speculation. Did anybody quote the president specifically saying that he has appointed Tafida to be his campaign Director-General?”
Alhaji Gulak said it was wrong to believe that the president, who is yet to declare his intention over the election, was facing stiff opposition, saying that people were free to express their opinions.
According to him “the constitution allows everybody to aspire to the highest position in the land and the assumed opposition elements are only expressing their desire and they are entitled to it.
“General Babangida, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, these are under the banner of the PDP; Mallam Shekarau, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) and General Muhammadu Buhari, Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), are entitled to aspire, because they are eligible Nigerians. But I don’t agree when people say they are stiff opposition to Jonathan.
“These people are no opposition to Jonathan. But I believe they are partners in the sense that they are stirring the political water for Jonathan to catch the fish.”
He said there were now about 1, 387 support groups rooting for President Jonathan, adding that “I want you to know that as far as we are concerned, these support groups are doing the same job that we are doing and the more the merrier.”