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Ambitions, Party Choice Divide G-7 Governors

By The Citizen

There appears to be a crack within the ranks of the aggrieved governors on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), otherwise known as the G-7, as some of the governors' individual ambitions to run for various elective positions in 2015 have threatened the collective struggle they embarked upon two months ago.

Besides, the governors are yet to find a common ground on the political platform to join: a majority of them are said to have made up their minds to dump the PDP.

The G-7 governors are: Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Sule Lamido (Jigawa), Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto), Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso (Kano), Abdulfattah Ahmed (Kwara) and Muazu Babangida Aliyu (Niger).

The reason the aggrieved governors have been unable to make a collective move to either join the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) is because of their conflicting ambitions.

Also, according to a source, while four of the G-7 governors are disposed to joining the APC, three are indifferent to the move spearheaded by Adamawa State governor Nyako. 'What we can see in the whole struggle is that although the governors appeared to have a common enemy to fight initially, the biggest enemy is within them, because the unity is fast waning as a result of what each of them wants in 2015,' he said. 'You should know that they are politicians who would not want to remain floating at the end of their tenure; remember that almost all of them are doing their last lap as governors, so they want to cling to something at the end. But the means of how to achieve these individual objectives has broken their unity.

'For some time now, if you observe, two of the governors have been silent and indifferent to the affairs of the group, not because they have joined the Tukur faction but because, most often, the issues that come up for discussion have always been about personal interests.

'If you do your homework well, you will observe that in all their demands, particularly those of them from the north, there is no room for improved funding of agriculture which is the region's mainstay; they are not talking about curbing desertification, nor are they even talking about how to fund HYPADEC; all their focus is on political self-survival.'

Apart from the individual ambitions, the governors are sharply divided over the political platform to move into.

Nyako, who has been leading the move to dump the PDP for APC, it was gathered, had met his Jigawa counterpart, Sule Lamido, last week on the need to move to a new party, an initiative the Jigawa governor rejected. Before the meeting of the Adamawa and Jigawa governors, the Niger State governor had equally rejected the move to dump PDP.

It was gathered that, apart from Nyako, other G-7 governors who have preference for the APC are those of Rivers, Kano and Sokoto.

As at the time of going to press, Governor Lamido was still under pressure to cave in to the APC carrot.

But Lamido's director of press, Umar Kyari, said it was too early to speculate.

'We cannot begin to speculate now; it is true the governors of Kano and Adamawa states have been here to meet his Excellency, but there is nothing to suggest that they are mounting pressure on him to dump PDP. Remember that he is one of the nine pillars of the foundation of the PDP in 1998; so to just move to another party is difficult, but I can't conclude,' Kyari said.

For his part, chief press secretary to Kwankwaso Haliyu Baba Dantiye said since no statements were issued in the meetings his principal attended variously with his Jigawa and Adamawa counterparts, it was difficult for him to make a categorical statement whether or not governors Kwankwaso and Nyako were making moves to elicit Lamido's support for a move to APC.

'I know he (Kwankwaso) visited Jigawa yesterday and Adamawa governor visited him today (three days ago). But the meetings were behind closed doors and no statement was issued,' Dantiye said in a response to enquiry.

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Kawu Baraje-led new PDP, to which the G-7 governors belong, will meet today.

A source told that the meeting will hold at 8pm at the Sokoto Governor's Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, and is expected to take stock of the legal battles the faction has lost in the past two weeks.