Leadership (Abuja)

28 February 2013

Nigeria: Single Term Pact - Jonathan's Men After Me - Gov Aliyu

Photo: Vanguard
Opposition parties argue Jonathan cannot run in 2015

Niger State governor Mu'azu Babangida Aliyu has alleged that there is a plot to silence him and pit him against the party.

The governor also alleged that some political gladiators in Abuja have concluded arrangements to print posters with his portrait and a message, "Vote Babangida Aliyu for President", thereby pitting him against his party which has placed an embargo on campaigns for the presidency.

The development is sequel to his declaration recently that President Goodluck Jonathan had a pact with PDP governors to serve for only one term.

In a statement by his chief press secretary, Danladi Ndayebo, Aliyu claimed that some media houses had been commissioned to write negative reports against him as part of a grand design to discredit him and the state government.

The statement reads in part: "But Gov Aliyu is a law-abiding member of the PDP and is very much aware of the party's directive to members not to commence campaign for the 2015 presidential election.

"For the avoidance of doubt, Governor Aliyu has not declared for the presidency. If anything, he is at the moment focused on delivering on the mandate given to him by the people of Niger State and would not be distracted."

Submitting to divine intervention, Aliyu said "God is the ultimate decider of who becomes what" and therefore cautioned Nigerians to be wary of people who may want to discredit others for selfish gains.

Aliyu reaffirmed that he would continue to remain committed to his present assignment and would not be distracted by any devious plot by mischief makers.

He said his commitment to the ongoing efforts at re-engineering the state to achieve its vision of becoming one of the top three most developed state economies by the year 2020 remained unchanged.

LEADERSHIP had exclusively reported that the presidency had mounted security surveillance on three PDP governors: Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers); Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Babangida Aliyu (Niger).

The watch, sources disclosed to LEADERSHIP, was necessitated by their rumoured presidential and vice-presidential ambitions.

Aliyu particularly, the source revealed, has been put on the security radar because of his recent revelation that President Jonathan entered into some form of political agreement to serve for only one term.

Already, two separate teams of crack detectives comprising anti-corruption and security agencies have been set up to gather evidence against the trio.

The committees, according to the source, have four months to complete their assignment and turn in their reports.

The development, said the source, is a tacit confirmation that the president would contest the 2015 presidential election.

Jonathan Free To Contest In 2015 - Tukur

Meanwhile, the national chairman of the PDP, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, has stated that President Jonathan is free to contest for the presidency in 2015.

Tukur, who stated this while fielding questions from newsmen in Abuja yesterday, denied insinuations that President Jonathan's 2015 ambition was responsible for the constitution of the PDP Governors' Forum (PGF), adding that there was nothing wrong if Jonathan chose to.

Tukur had frowned at the insinuation that the PGF was set up so as to facilitate Jonathan's re-election bid, saying, "Let me tell you, that is in order in politics. Jonathan is the president under our party and what is wrong if he decided to run?"

Akwa Ibom State governor Godswill Akpabio was Sunday night elected the new chairman of the PGF, a move seen to have cut the powers of Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers who, many felt, was using the body to boost his alleged 2015 presidential election.

But Tukur said he saw nothing wrong with the constitution of the PDP Governors' Forum. It is proper for the PDP to have its own governors under the umbrella to facilitate effective dissemination of party policies, he noted.

He stated: "I see the NGF as very important. I can tell you why. Look at Nigeria, we have so many colourations -- ethnic, religious. Now, if you don't have this kind of association, whereby people have to meet and discuss, how can Nigeria sustain its role as a regional power?

"You cannot do that, unless the help comes from governors. So, NGF is very healthy, because we have to be frank with ourselves. If we understand our differences, then, we can work together better. If they are working together to ensure peace and whatever is good, we all agree to that extent it is a very important forum," the PDP chairman said.

He said though opinions may differ amongst the PDP governors, it didn't mean that the party's position would be respected: "Babangida Aliyu had his opinion. Well, it is an opinion. It doesn't mean that all our governors agree with him. He can say so but I have explained to you as the chairman of this party that they are all my governors. We may not share the same position on the formation of PDP Governors' Forum, but I have explained to you our intention as a party. We want our governors to come together."

He explained that the party would soon be embarking on e-registration, noting that the time called for it.

The party's attempt to embark on e-registration during the tenure of its former chairman, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, ran into trouble waters when governors under the party kicked against the policy.

Anenih emerges through due process - Gana

Amidst mixed feelings over the re-emergence of Chief Tony Anenih as the chairman, PDP Board of Trustees, Prof Jerry Gana, who led the committee on the restructuring of the BoT, has said that Anenih emerged through a credible process.

Gana, a former minister of information and presidential adviser, told journalists in Minna yesterday that the committee's report that led to the emergence of Anenih was not delivered through the backdoor but with due recourse to openness and transparency.

Apparently defending the emergence of Anenih, Gana posited that the last board meeting where Anenih emerged as chairman had the highest attendance in the history of the board.

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