BY SANUSI MUHAMMAD
By divine intervention of the Almighty, Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan took over the reigns of governance in 2010 to complete their joint mandate after the death of the incumbent president, Umaru Musa Yar’Adu’a. Jonathan claimed that he was only interested in the completion of their mandate than seeking a fresh mandate in 2011. He immediately reneged on that promise despite the existence of a gentleman’s agreement of zoning within the Peoples Democratic Party that he is a senior member.
Jonathan threw away decorum to bulldoze his way to fly the flag of the party in a keenly contested party primary election adjudged to have been won by his closest opponent, Atiku Abubakar. In the 2011 presidential election, Congress for Progressice Change, CPC led by its presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari believed it won the election but rigged in favour of Goodluck which resulted into several crisis across a section of the country and since then, there seems to be a problem bedevilling effective leadership in the country.
Today, the on-going disconcerting twist in the relationship between PDP State Governors and the President over divergent opinions particularly on 2015 presidential aspiration is seriously affecting the survival of the democracy. If care is not taken and sincerity judiciously applied, there are indications that the situation may snowball into a very unpleasant political turmoil that may be injurious to the democracy.
The hitherto existing cordial relationship that existed between them is gradually given way to friction and discord, arising from deep mistrust and fear for the survival of the ruling party and the destiny of Jonathan’s administration. Piqued by subtle and subterranean moves by a cross section of PDP chieftains who impulsively jumped the gun by hurriedly kick-starting the process of anointing aspirants for the 2015 race, President Jonathan was quick to read the riot act to federal political appointees of the PDP to desist from overheating the polity or should ‘honourably’ quit the party. The perception of Jonathan was that such acts could seriously distract elected officials from the onerous task of delivering what is expected of them and is also capable of tearing the party along interest.
However, majority of over ambitious members of the party, including few State Governors who are nursing presidential ambition, found that directive ultra vires and beyond the legal capacity of the President and the PDP. It was therefore considered by many as capable of creating more problems and difficulties instead of achieving the desired goal at the end and was therefore ignored and consigned to the dustbin.
Observers posit that the most convenient and acceptable way of circumventing the situation must be devised without necessarily causing disaffection and mistrust.
In that regard, PDP presidential aspirants should insist on the application of their inalienable rights to aspire for the coveted political position independent of any zoning as clearly enshrined in all the statute books as and when it is convenient and should not be submitted to straitjacketed regulations or railroaded into forsaking their immutable privilege.
To counter that stance, prime movers of the PDP are desperately trying to weaken the deft move by the adroit Governors to strategically reposition their Forum to pave a smooth way for the emergence of a credible candidate to contest the presidency come 2015 against the hidden interest of the incumbent. That was indeed a contrasting proposition to the stratagem adopted by some leaders of the party to emasculate perceived or real opposition to President Jonathan’s 2015 ambition to solely contest the presidential primary.
If stories from the rumor mill are to be believed, then it is confirmed that President Goodluck has been nursing an ambition to contest the presidential election in 2015 since May 29, 2011 after his imposition, ostensibly driven by the inordinate ambition of his power-hungry kinsmen to perpetually dominate the presidency and national politics.
It is better for Nigerians especially the political class to know that it is not the wish of President Jonathan and his kinsmen to concede power to any of the geo-political zones; hence the on-going plan to consolidate their control. Part of their scheming is to frustrate all efforts to shift power to the North as per PDP’s desecrated agreement to which Jonathan was a signatory about a decade ago. He and his co-travelers are desperately fanning the embers of ethno-religious bigotry, in the same manner it was played in 2011 to enable him cling to power. This is despite the fact that he is gradually losing ground even in his own ancestral territory as declared by Asari Dukubo.
To be honest, Jonathan’s contentious ascendency to the presidency is largely responsible to all the on-going malaise bedeviling the country while his body language which communicates his feelings and psychological state about his imminent participation in the 2015 contest is unnecessarily overheating the already over stressed polity. If President Jonathan can read the hand writing on the wall and decipher the doom that may befall the country with his infelicitous plan to contest the second term, and consequently recant his unsolicited ambition, he may wish to save Nigeria from damnation.
His honorable exit will certainly pave way for an altruistic leader, committed and dedicated to the cause of ridding the nation of all ailments and iniquities that stunted its progress since he took over in 2010. The Governors are now being persecuted for justly trying to withhold their unflinching support to the president whose styles and policies are objectionable and unsuitable to getting the country out of the doldrums.
There is no reason why the Governors should be tormented simply because they have seen enough reason to effect a progressive change in the present state of affairs. The PDP bigwigs blame the Governors for subterranean attempt to hijack the party and impose their will but after all, is the party not responsible for creating a monster they now seem to fear? Why should they attempt to tame or weaken the Governors at this material time that they want to exert their independence? Yes, the Nigerian Governor’s Forum, NGF is an extra-constitutional creation of the PDP to promote its dark designs of winning elections at all costs and in most cases, through rigging. But it has adequately served that purpose creditably in each presidential election right from 1999 to date. Why then should anybody now feel uncomfortable with it as it bares its fangs to effect a change in the status quo?
Whatever else is being done to stop the Governor’s Forum is already belated. It has now come of age and capable of taking decisive decisions to promote good governance. It should therefore not be fettered or cowed into submission to very unpopular political trend which will only advance a presidential ambition that will further overheat the polity. Nigerians have waited for the emergence of a viable alternatives to President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan and his Namadi Sambo from the miscellany of qualified contenders including past and incumbent Governors.