Northern Governors Dump Ibb, Gusau, Adopts Atiku, Saraki
With the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] approaching its primary elections for its flag bearer against the presidential elections of 2011, the principal operators of the respective geopolitical zones have begun to fine tune political aliments for the final push to the D-day. This is as it has become certain to the Northern political block of President Goodluck Ebelemi Jonathan's unwavering stand to contest in the said primary elections in the PDP.
Speaking confidentially to ukpakareports.com, an aide to one of the North East Governors, revealed that the Northern governor's forum sat recently to address the selection of a candidate of northern extraction against the PDP primaries who would also have the acceptability of the general Nigerian population. The aide noted that the Northern PDP governors [including all the PDP governors] expressed uneasiness with the possible selection of a former military man as their choice candidate. Particularly, a Southern Governor [not present at the meeting] was quoted as having said that they do not want another Obasanjo at the seat in Aso Rock.
The governors were said to be weary of former military generals – largely because of the fear that the former military juntas will treat them as junior officers – and not equals.
For this reason, the Northern Governors [with total agreement with the Southern PDP Governors] discarded the candidateship of Ibrahim B. Babangida and Aliyu Gusau. In unison, the northern governors, in the said meeting, accepted the fact that they will have to make a choice between the former vice president of Nigeria, Abubakar Atiku, and the two time governor of Kwara State, Dr. Bukola Saraki.
Also, the northern governors who seat for the said meeting immediately following the bomb blast of October 1st 2010, expressed concerns over the growing controversies trailing the name of Babangida as a possible political liability that they might not want to carry. They indicated that it would do the northern well if they are able to produce a new face from the North – of which favors Bukola Saraki.
But the northern group was quick to discard Saraki's candidateship even though he seats at the advantageous position as the chairman of the governor's forum. They do not consider him a northerner – since he is Yoruba. Saraki nonetheless remains among the contenders considered by the group.
It is expected that in the coming days for the northern governors to approach Babangida's campaign organization for a closed door meeting. At the meeting, as the governor's aide told ukpakareports.com, the group plans to convince the former general to collapse his campaign into their choice candidate [Atiku or Saraki]. Unconfirmed sources indicate that Babangida has already been briefed and has begun the process of dismantling his campaign.
Meanwhile the Igbo Political Forum [IPF] has made it clear that they will not endorse Babangida for President. The members of the IPF were recently shut out of Imo Concorde Hotel by operatives of the President of Nigeria in the fear that they will endorse another candidate for President. Speculators had pointed to Babangida as the candidate that was to be endorsed. Sources with the IPF tell ukpakareports.com that it near certain that the group will throw its support to Atiku. The group is expected to make its position public starting Monday October 11, 2010.