Vanguard (Lagos)

3 December 2012

Nigeria: PDP Not Happy Over Jonathan, Obasanjo Feud

Photo: WEF
Former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

Abuja — STRONG indications emerged, yesterday, that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is not supporting President Goodluck Jonathan on his attack on former President Olusegun Obasanjo, especially through aides.

According to PDP, Obasanjo may not be perfect in his actions or utterances, but Jonathan must tread softly because of the personality of the two- time President.

It also noted Obasanjo's status as a former Military Head of State and a civilian President.

Speaking with some journalists in Abuja, yesterday, a member of PDP National Working Committee of the party, NWC who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that President Jonathan must not undermine the powerful influence of Obasanjo among the northern oligarchy stressing that it was not necessary for the President to take on Obasanjo.

The NWC member said the President should not allow his aides to create friction between him and the former President, adding that exchanging words on the pages of newspapers with the former President was uncalled for.

The NWC member, who noted that Jonathan was not properly advised to take on Obasanjo, especially against the backdrop that he benefited from the former President, said: "We are concerned about this feud between the President and former President Obasanjo. The President must watch it. It is dangerous for him to take on this man, who is very close to the northern oligarchy.

"Jonathan should rather speak with him as a father because of his second term ambition. This is not the time to start fighting people like Obasanjo.

"We all know that Jonathan's popularity has waned. He should not make Obasanjo a hero because Nigerians have this belief that the President is not handling the security situation in the country well.

"The President is not popular in majority of the states in the north and South-West. If he allows this the people in these areas will work against him and his second term dream will remain in the pipeline for a long time. He should not think that votes from the South-East and South-South can give him a second term ticket.

"It was this same Obasanjo who appealed to restive members of the party at the Eagles Square when Jonathan picked the party's presidential ticket.

"That time, the north was very angry that the party did not follow the zoning formula as enshrined in its constitution following the death of President Umaru Yar'Adua."

However, both the National Secretary of the PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, and National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, have said there was no problem between the former President and Jonathan.

When contacted, Oyinlola said "the issue of Odi killings will not cause hostility between the two leaders of our party,"

Metuh, on his part, said both leaders were working together towards deepening democracy in Nigeria.

It will be recalled that President Jonathan during the media chat penultimate week had faulted the attack on Odi community by Obasanjo, saying the action was not a solution to the problem.

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Former president Olusegun Obasanjo.

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