2015 elections: Jonathan woos Obasanjo for support
Disturbed by the crises his party and the emergence of more political parties, President Goodluck Jonathan has entreated former President Olusegun Obasanjo to throw his weight behind him to surmount the opposition to his re-election in 2015.
It was learnt that Jonathan has also sought the forgiveness of Obasanjo over unbridled attacks unleashed on him by some of his aides in recent times.
The then Vice-Presidential candidate Goodluck Jonathan campaigning with then President Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007.
It was gathered that Jonathan met privately with Obasanjo and solicited his assistance towards dislodging mounting opposition, particularly from the North, towards his re-election.
It was learnt that Jonathan initiated the meeting with Obasanjo following the withdrawal of the former president from the administration as a result of some irreconcilable differences.
The meeting was also said to have been necessitated by the complaints of five PDP governors against President Jonathan and the PDP leadership to Obasanjo and their claim that the nation and the party were adrift and needed urgent rescue.
The five governors were said to have given some stringent conditions under which they would back Jonathan, a move that was said to have jolted Jonathan and Obasanjo.
It was gathered that Jonathan, who felt slighted by the action of the five governors and worried that they could also sway their support to the opposition, appealed to Obasanjo to use his fatherly disposition to call the 'rebel' governors to order so as not to rob him of victory in the next election.
Jonathan reportedly begged Obasanjo to 'come back' and help rebuild the party so that it would not be disgraced by the rampaging opposition.
According to findings ,it was after the meeting with Jonathan that Obasanjo invited the five Northern governors to meet with him at the Presidential Villa to 'sort out areas of disaffection' with the President.
Although Jonathan was not directly involved in the meeting that stretched for two days and ended in a deadlock, he nonetheless, provided the platform for his mentor to gauge the feelings of the five governors and their Rivers State counterpart, Rotimi Amaechi.
Findings also showed that apart from meeting the aggrieved governors of the party at the Villa, Obasanjo also advised President Jonathan to take urgent steps to meet with former leaders of the party, one of them Dr. Ahmadu Ali, who was the chairman of the PDP under Obasanjo.
The former President also asked Jonathan to reach out to influential leaders from the Middle Belt to speak out against the clamour by the North to clinch the Presidency in 2015, a suggestion that the President bought into.
'It is true that the President also met privately with Ahmadu Ali in his house in Abuja a few days ago and pleaded with him not to stand aloof while the party was boiling,' a source close to the meeting of the two men said.
'You can also see that many Middle Belt leaders, who have been tapped by the President to help him secure a second term ticket, have been taking turns in the media to castigate the core North of being hasty in taking another shot at the Presidency.
'The other day it was Ameh Ebute and today you may have seen the interview by General Lawrence Onoja arguing that it was not time for the North to take over power.'
But the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) said yesterday that it was aware of the recruitment of some Middle Belt leaders to speak against the core North so as to prevent them from clinching the Presidency in 2015.
Secretary General of the NEF, Prof Ango Abdullahi, noted the resort by the Presidency to cheap tactics to divide the North for selfish political gains ahead of the 2015 election.
The former ABU Vice-Chancellor said, however, that the plot by the Presidency against the North will fail, as the tactics being employed do not add up.
'I can tell you that those Middle Belt voices speaking against the North know their limitation and that what they are doing will not help them in any way.
'In any case, time will tell if the Middle Belt can stop the North from getting the Presidency in 2015,' the NEF leader stated. - Vanguard.