2011 Presidency Divides Nigeria Governors' Forum As Bukola Positions Self
San Francisco March 14, (THEWILL) – The battle of who would become the Peoples Democratic Party's (PDP) presidential candidate for the 2011 presidential election has turned members of the Governors' Forum against themselves as governors align with various blocks within the forum with interest in occupying the number seat in the country.
The PDP last week said it would abide by an earlier zoning arrangement where the entire northern zone would retain the party's presidential slot till 2015 when it would return to the south, a sudden announcement proposed by PDP governors who intend to use their weight in the party to appoint one of their own as Yar'Adua's successor.
Taking into consideration the unity of PDP members of the forum in pushing the Party's National Working Committee to stand by their decision, various cliques in the forum are currently neck deep in maneuvers to ensure that their candidate emerge flag bearer.
The present Governors from the northern zone with eyes on the top job are Isa Yuguda (Bauchi); Bukola Saraki (Kwara); Danjuma Goje (Gombe); Sule Lamido (Jigawa). While some governors favour these candidates, some are said to favour candidates that not serving governors like; Senator Ahmed Makarfi; Nasiru El-rufai; Adamu Aliero; General Ibrahim Babangida; Mallam Nuhu Ribadu; SGF Yayale and former Bauchi State governor, Adamu Muazu.
A source and confidant of one of the governors from a southern state told THEWILL that Forum Chairman and Kwara State governor, Bukola Saraki who has not hidden his desire to become Nigeria's President since President Umaru Yar'Adua became gravely ill is one of those heating up the Forum.
As a result of the tension already brewing in the party, the PDP leadership during its meeting met over the weekend decided to shelve plans for its primaries until the electoral commission made its plan for the election public.
Pundits however see the party's ticket going to a dark horse because of the huge interest the sudden open ticket has generated. The various power blocks in the party may settle for a consensus presidential candidate and then attention would shift to the big elephant in the room, that is, who the vice presidential candidate would be.
Going by the PDP announcement to maintain its zoning arrangement, the south-south zone will enjoy the privilege and it would be interesting to see how this plays out because the vice presidential candidate of the party in the 2011 poll is expected to be the party's presidential candidate in the 2015 election.
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