DEADLY POLITICS, NWODO GETS DEATH THREATS
As intrigues for the 2011 general election gather momentum, indications have emerged that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has been enmeshed in a crisis of confidence with top members of the party's executive working at cross purposes.
The development comes amid threats to the life of the party's national chairman, Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo, for allegedly working secretly to ensure that President Goodluck Jonathan wins the ruling party's presidential primaries.
Sunday Sun scooped that the North was unrelenting in its resolve to recapture power in 2011 and has planted moles both in the presidency and the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) to throw spanners in the works of President Jonathan's camp.
A presidency source told Sunday Sun on condition of anonymity that while some members of the NWC were working round the clock to ensure Jonathan's emergence in the keenly contested race, others were not resting on their oars for a candidate of northern extraction to fly the flag of the PDP in 2011. The source particularly fingered a high-ranking member of the NWC, who played a major part in the administration of the immediate past chairman of the party, Prince Vincent Ogbulafor, as the anchorman in the move to scuttle Jonathan's ambition.
According to our source, the politician is believed to be very close to the vice president and was one of those mentioned in the controversial Siemens scandal. 'The battle for who emerges the flag bearer of the PDP is getting tougher by the day but many people do not know. Some think that President Jonathan has even won the election before it is conducted. But I can tell you that the North is fighting hard on several fronts to recapture power.
'The North is cashing in on the gentle nature of the President and are using even people who are close to him to frustrate his ambition. 'They are using a top member of the PDP, who is involved in the Siemens scandal but has been enjoying some protection from a top government official to execute this plot,' the source said.
It was gathered that during a recent medical trip abroad by the PDP national chairman, the hatchet man plotted to remove him and worked secretly with politicians from his home state of Enugu.
'When Nwodo traveled abroad for a medical check up abroad, he saw it as an opportunity to pull the rug off the feet of Jonathan by removing him (Nwodo), knowing that he is one of those who would bring his experience to bear during the primaries,' the source added. It would be recalled that while Nwodo was away, the Enugu State Assembly passed a vote of no confidence on him for dissolving the executive of the state chapter of the PDP.
It was also gathered that it was based on intelligence reports on the activities of the moles in the presidency and the NWC that caused the President to appoint General Owoeye Azazi from his home state of Bayelsa as National Security Adviser. Sunday Sun learnt that Jonathan was compelled for reasons of political exigency to choose a close confidant for the sensitive job, based on advice that he needed one whose loyalty is assured. The president's ambition was said to be sinking until Azazi, who is believed to be a thoroughbred officer in security matters, came on board.
'That Jonathan is still enjoying a relative advantage in the race is because he appointed his own man to monitor what is happening. 'Before then, some people close to Jonathan were merely pretending to work for him when in reality they were secretly carrying out the agenda of the North. Azazi, no doubt, has given teeth to the presidential ambition of Jonathan,' the source said.
The source also informed that there was pressure from high quarters to drop the name of the mole from the charge sheet of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the Siemens scandal.
'When Ogbulafor was made to resign over a similar scandal, many had expected that having been under him, he should have also resigned based on moral ground. But he stayed on to execute a set agenda.'
The source said that to save Nwodo's life, the NSA has tightened security around him and changed all the orderlies that hitherto worked with him.
'Nwodo has become a major target to those bent on frustrating President Jonathan's ambition. They believe that the national chairman would bring his wealth of experience to bear on his ambition having been the party's secretary. 'The calculation of the anti-Jonathan elements is that with Jonathan out of the way, it would be easier for them to realize their dream of installing their man.
'The death threat on Nwodo is not a joke because you can see that some people are very desperate to capture power from Jonathan and they can do anything to make this happen. For them, if the only way to stop Jonathan is to get Nwodo out of the way, so be it,' the source said.