THE ODDS THAT FAVORED JONATHAN
Intrigues, manouvers, power play and financial muscles were dominant in the determination for the emergence of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate at its Special Convention which ended early hours of this morning.
The two main contenders at the PDP presidential primaries, vis-a-vis, President Goodluck Jonathan and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, employed all known tactics acceptable and even new to party politics in Nigeria to out play each other before and during the convention.
Delegate held hostage
Daily Sun authoritatively gathered that governors held tight to their states delegates who were not allowed to move out of designated centers where they were accomodated.
It was equally gathered that most of the hotels that were hitherto booked and reserved by the Atiku Campaign Organisation for most of the delegates, were empty as the Jonathan campaign provided alternative accomodation arrangements.
Most of the delegates on entering Abuja, were directed to alternative accomodation different from the arrangement they had before leaving their states for Abuja. President Jonathan was believed to have met with delegates from Wedneday night and engaged them for hours that lasted till 3 a.m. thereby preventing Atiku's foot soldiers from gaining access to them.
After the engagement of the President with the delegates, the governors and serving ministers were directed to further liase and engage the delegates with a view to solidifying and getting their total support for the Jonathan's candidacy.
The security agencies also played a major role in ensuring that delegates from states were President Jonathan had assurances from where given smooth passage into the venue unlike other states whose support were not too guaranteed, were given close mark and scrutinised to ensure that the expected number of delegates from those states were not beyond the number accredited from the state.
It was gathered that by the time former vice president Atiku's camp had access to the delegates, minds were almost made up even as he tried to convince them and up the ante with higher financial gifts.
One other factor that may have worked in favor of President Jonathan's emergence, was the fact that majority of the members of the National Working Committee of the PDP and members of the electoral panel who formed the Convention Committee were believed to have worked favourably for President Jonathan.
Of equal importance was the voting pattern that took place at the convention, unlike past conventions, where a state voted at a time, yesterday voting process was carried out through clusters of five or more states put together.
This was contrary to procedure earlier announced by the chairman of PDP presidential electoral panel, Prof. Tunde Aderinran, who said that each state will vote and go back to the pavillion allocated.
Master of sound bites
The presentations by the aspirants before the delegates, may have swayed the delegates while Atiku tried to work on premordial sentiments by restating the zoning formula in the party constitution, Jonathan on the other hand delved on his mission for Nigeria while also emphasising his achivements in the last eight months, leaving the delegates to make the ultimate choice.
'The delegates know all of us, they know our history, they know our past and they will select whoever they like', there was a thunderous ovation Jonathan finally said before leaving the podium.