GOVERNORS PANIC OVER RETURN TICKETS
Ahead of 2011 general elections, governors seeking re-election have been thrown into panic over their ambition under President Goodluck Jonathan's administration. The development came even as activities of states across the nation have been literally ground to a halt following a cloud of uncertainty in the nation's political landscape.
It was gathered that barely six months to the next general elections, none of the governors is sure of a return ticket unlike in previous polls when their fate is known ahead of time.
A former governor who spoke to Sunday Sun on condition of anonymity said that the fate of governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are more precarious as it is being feared that President Jonathan, being a member of the ruling party, could start the long awaited electoral reform in his own party.
He said that the governors are confused over the administrative style of the former Bayelsa governor whose major decision are usually kept under wraps even to the state chief executives and close associates.
'There is fear and panic among the governors who want to come back for a second term. They are not sure of what President Jonathan will do in the coming election. 'In the past, the governors by now ought to have been sure of their fate because all they needed was to be close to Baba and their ticket is guaranteed.
'The game has changed and the governors know that a second term is not assured unlike in the last administration. They are waiting patiently to know how the present administration would handle the 2011 election', he said. Our source revealed that some governors who were particularly close to late President Umaru Yar'Adua's administration are more affected by the wind of uncertainty blowing across the nation.
It was gathered that even governors not seeking re-election are gripped with fear as they would want a loyal person and confidant to succeed them.
'The governors who will have spent their mandatory eight years are even worse hit because you know the implication of losing power to somebody they are not sure of his confidence. They want to ensure that they are allowed to influence what happens in their states.
'When late Yar'Adua held sway, there were some of the governors who never reckoned with Jonathan and they did not hide their actions. Some of them are now battling to swim to safety politically. They are doing everything to worm their way into the hearts of the man who now calls the shots', he said.
Our source said that the plight of the governors have been compounded by the fact that President Jonathan is yet to announce the new chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The fears among the state chief executives is that with a new electoral umpire coming after the immediate boss, Prof Maurice Iwu, the expectation is that the fresh hand would like to introduce a change in the activities of one of the most vilified agencies in the country.
Our source said that part of their worries is that the possible appointment of the new INEC boss is coming on the heels of expectation that government would soon approve the long awaited electoral reform.
It was gathered that all these added have affected activities across the states as the governors no longer concern themselves with administration but wait patiently for enough green light on the 2011 election.
Our source said that in the frenzy to realize their ambition, virtually all the governors have literally relocated to Abuja, the seat of power.
'If you go to most of the states now, nothing is happening. Most of the governors spend their time at Abuja where they are struggling to get the attention of President Jonathan or those who are close to him.
'In the past, by now, the states would be bubbling with political activities because if things go according to speculation, the general election would be coming up in January next year. 'At the moment, no political activities, no clear programme of the election. The governors are not even sure of what President Jonathan would do.
'It is not even certain that he will contest the 2011 presidential election and if that happens, what if he sacrifices his ambition to ensure that he conducts a credible election in Nigeria. In such a situation, none of the governors would be sure of what will be the outcome of the election', he said.