JONATHAN LEADS IN RATING ACROSS SIX GEOPOLITICAL ZONES
With the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national convention coming on Thursday, Januray 13, all is now set for the delegates to pick between President Goodluck Jonathan and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar. With ex-military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, former national security adviser, General Aliyu Gusau and Kwara State Governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki out of the race, owing to the consensus ararngement made by northern presidential aspirants, the calculation as to who may pick PDP ticket has changed. Feelers from across the country show that without Babangida, President Jonathan looks indimidating in the race. The rating of the president and Atiku in the six geopolitical zones proves this.
NORTH CENTRAL ZONE
The essence of domination is now so serious in the zone that it cannot be ignored as a major factor for the determination of who wins where in the zone. There is ethnic domination and there is religious domination. The people of the North Central and North East zones have been protesting their domination by their Hausa/Fulani of the North West. A more serious problem is religious domination, a factor which led to the emergence of minority political leaders who are now fighting for their independence from the majority Hausa/Fulani.
However, the minority question in the politics of North has become a problem. The recent crisis in Jos, Plateau State and the attendant reaction from personalities in the two divide have further enhanced the religious and ethnic domination in the North, to the extent of creating a deep-seated suspicion.
Now, prominent personalities in the North Central zone, with the exception of their Muslim brothers, see the next elections as a pay-back time.
Between Jonathan and Atiku, the former seems to have an upper hand in the zone. With government of Benue State as coordinator of the Jonathan/Namadi Campaign Organisation in the North Central zone, Prof. Jerry Gana in Niger State, Solomon Lar and Governor David Jonah Jang in Plateau State, it is yet to be seen how Atiku will make any headway.
In Plateau State, Marian Agbola-Aleshinloye reports that Jonathan appears to be the only candidate generating most political royalties. Initially, Babangida appeared to have the religious advantage in the Hausa/Fulani dominated area of the Jos North Local Government Area, with former PDP Chairman of Jos North, Danladi Pasali, rooting for him, when he was in the race.
In the state, Jonathan appears popular, owing to his minority status and the way he handled the crisis in the state. Besides, the Governor Jonah Jang faction of the PDP believes that a support for the president would enable its members to remain in power. The minorities in the state see Jonathan's victory in Plateau as victory for all minorities.
In Benue, Rose Ejembi reports that Atiku lost some support on account of his defection from Action Congress (AC). Audu Ogbe, his point's man, is no longer with him. Ogbe had entrenched AC in the state before Atiku's defection. Now, with Atiku's exit from AC, it appears his supporters in the state have deserted him.
On the other hand, Jonathan is strong in this state and has an upper hand, following a declaration by majority of the people that he should take a shot at the presidency. What is more, Governor Gabriel Suswam is the coordinator of Jonathan for president campaign organization in the North Central zone.
Here, there appears to be an initial fierce political struggle between Jonathan and Babangida. In the state, religion and preference for a northern candidate are always played up, which had given Babangida an edge. In spite of the strong support pledged for Jonathan when all the political heavy weights in Nasarawa State visited him, the president was struggling when Babangida was in the race. Now, with Babangida out, the president has found a bearing. If Babangida's supporters embrace Atiku, the former vice president will have an edge; if not, Jonathan will carry the day. What is obvious, however, is that there will be split of votes.
The battle is equally as fierce here. This is understandable because all the political bigwigs in the state, including Governor Ibrahim Idris, senators and legislators have openly expressed their preference for Jonathan. In fact, at a stakeholders meeting, convened to determine who among the presidential gladiators to support, Jonathan was the popular choice of the people. Babangida's political structure in the state has been handed over to Atku and it is expected that all the former military top shots in Kogi State, including former Chief of Amy Staff, Ibrahim Saliu, Gen. Jemibewon and Ahmed Usman, who had queued behind Babanigda, would now support Atiku.
Several factors, however, are working for Jonathan. The prospects of a promising refinery, the planned revival of Ajaokuta Steel Company and other structures put on ground in Kogi State by Jonathan administration could change the perception of the indigenes. Jonathan may, therefore, win Kogi State with a slight margin.
Governor Bukola Saraki's earlier entry into the presidential race had less impact in the political equation of the state, as far as the PDP presidential primary is concerned. While he was in the race, he was sure of home advantage. Now that he is out of the race, the equation has changed. As it stands, delegates' votes would be divided alone ethnic line. The Yoruba areas are likely going with Jonathan, while the Hausa areas would support Atiku.
Before now, it could have been said that Niger State would pitch its tent with Babangida, for obvious reasons. The former military president is from the state and a former governor of the state, Abdulkadir Kure, was working with him. Babangida is no longer in the race, which leaves Governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu the free will to decide who to support, despite the fact that Babangida maybe supporting Atiku.
It is believed that the votes in the state will be split between Atiku and Jonathan, with the former having an upper hand, owing to General Babangida's support.
SOUTH SOUTH ZONE
This zone solely belongs to Jonathan, despite the fact that the number of delegates from the six states maybe less than those from such states as Kano, Sokoto and perhaps, Kebbi combined. However, such overwhelming support for Jonathan was not there from the beginning. Indeed, given the mobilisation efforts of state governors in South South geopolitical zone that culminated in the July meeting of South-South leaders in Port Harcourt, it was beyond doubt that Jonathan would rake in most of the votes from the zone, including Rivers State, where there was an initial doubt.
Henry Chukwurah reports that Governor Chibuike Amaechi had picked the bills for the South South Summit. But that high hope came under serious threat a few months back due to two ugly events that pitted his government against the Presidency. First was the controversy-ridden visit of the First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan, to the state during which she publicly sided her Okirika kinsmen over the governor's planned demolition of waterfronts. Next and perhaps, even more serious was the August raid on the state by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that sent some of the targets fleeing their offices. Expectedly, the incident pitted Amaechi against the EFCC and some government officials suspected a case of the biblical voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau in the incident. This is despite the governor's expressed conviction, through his deputy, Mr. Tele Ikuru, that President Jonathan was likely not aware of the activities of EFCC in the state.
Although the like of former governor of the state, Sir Celestine Omehia at the pro-Jonathan rally held on September 14 in Port Harcourt invoked 'Holy Ghost fire' on anyone in the state who is against Jonathan's presidential ambition, there was no doubt that the damage needed much more than that to fix. However, a rushed fence-mending within the past few weeks restored hopes that a chunk of the Rivers votes, if not all, will go to the president. A tacit confirmation came on the eve of Jonathan's formal declaration for the presidential race when Governor Amaechi led royal fathers and select elders of the state on a solidarity visit to the Presidency to pledge the people's votes for the president. They pointedly assured him: 'As our son, you need not worry about the support of your people; the whole of the Niger Delta region is behind you.'
Despite the above development, Atiku hopes that he would pick votes in the state. For one, the relationship between Babangida and former governor of the state, Dr. Peter Odili, is causing a scare in the state. Odili still has influence in the Rivers PDP and may back Atiku, in the absence of Babangida. Atiku has a supporter in former AC leader in the state, Prince Tonye Princewill, who is now in the PDP. Also, his media consultant in the state, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze, has been aggressively selling the former vice president to mainly the youth.
From Yenagoa, Femi Folaranmi reports that if the 2011 presidential primaries had taken place with the late President Umar Yar'Adua still alive but not a candidate, Jonathan would have lost in Bayelsa. This is because most of the delegates controlled by Governor Timipre Sylva would have voted for whoever he and the late Yar'Adua preferred.
Sylva had struck a bond with the late president when his initiative of Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) in the state was bought by the Federal Government and developed to provide the basis for the proclamation of amnesty for Niger Delta militants.
It is common knowledge that when Jonathan was vice president, he and Sylva did not enjoy the best of relationship. All kinds of plots were hatched to oust Sylva from the Government House, due to his robust relationship with Yar'Adua. This explained why Sylva's name was mentioned as against the approval of Jonathan as acting president, while ailing Yar'Adua was abroad for treatment. The allegation, which Sylva denied, severed his relationship with Jonathan's wife and made many Bayelsa indigenes oppose his style of governance to ask Jonathan to move against him once he became president after Yar'Adua's death.
Indeed, the fear that Sylva may lose the governorship election was real until he kick-started the campaign for Jonathan to contest the presidential election.
In Bayelsa, there are two distinct power blocks, along Sylva and Jonathan/ Diepreye Alamieyeseigha/Timi Alaibe. The latter, particularly those in Jonathan committee of friends and Alaibe camp would prefer that Sylva does not return as governor because of alleged double dealing over whom to support in the PDP primaries. However, Sylva has denied the allegation and have assurance that Bayelsa would vote for Jonathan. Given that the PDP governors dictate the pace in the party and the moves at the Presidency to pacify them and ensure that Jonathan gets the PDP ticket, Governor Sylva's promise could be taken seriously. Indeed, to prove to the president that he is behind him and to avoid a backlash in his own election if Jonathan fails to win the PDP primaries, many believe that the governor would ensure that Bayelsa delegates vote for the president.
Although Atiku has made some in-road in the state, with some high ranking PDP chieftains, he does not stand much chance. This is the home state of Jonathan and the people are behind him.
Cross River State
From Cross River State, Judex Okoro reports that the race for 2011 presidential election is likely a one-way win for Jonathan because the political class and major power blocks in the state have all collapsed and are working for the governor, Liyel Imoke and, by extension,all the political heavyweights in the state are directly or indirectly involved in the Jonathan/Sambo 2011 project. For instance, the three major groups, namely Goodluck Support Group (GSG), South-South Democratic Voice (SOSODEV) and Jonathan Consolidation 2011, have spread their tentacles to all nooks and crannies of the state drumming up support for a Jonathan presidency. Coordinated by Eko Atu, Lord Silver and Hon. Bassey Ibor respectively, the groups have been mobilising seriously for the President.
Speaking to Saturday Sun on their efforts to ensure Jonathan's victory, the state coordinator of the Goodluck Support Group, a group regarded as Governor Imoke's pet project, gave an assurance that Jonathan would clinch all votes at the primaries. 'Within the next few days, President Jonathan's team will know that Cross River is totally for him and his team. That is authentic. Now that the time-table is out, we will go to work, because we are not leaving anything to chance,' he said.
To show total support for Jonathan, the Cross River Elders Forum, in an enlarged meeting on September 16, 2010, unanimously endorsed Jonathan/Sambo ticket for 2011 and passed a vote of confidence in the administration.
For Atiku, the state might not be a fertile ground, as his impacts are not felt at all. One Ntufam Innocent Ntui, a PDP stalwart from the Central Senatorial Zone, told Saturday Sun that it has been a Herculean task selling the former vice president in the state because virtually everybody is rooting for Jonathan.
Akwa Ibom State
The story is not different in Akwa Ibom State, as our correspondent, Joe Effiong, describes Jonathan as the beautiful bride of all the politically minded people of the state. Even those who disagree with Governor Godswill Akpabio, such as his predecessor, Obong Victor Attah and Senator John Akpanudoedehe, are looking up to Jonathan to help their political cause.
A recent campaign attended by Vice President Namadi Sambo brought all the groups, including market women campaigning for the president. Everyday, political groups are collapsing into Akwa Ibom Peoples Forum (AKPF) led by the Deputy State Chairman of the party, Bishop Sam Akpan, in support of the president. Also, all the National Assembly members in the state, who are automatic delegates, are for Jonathan. At least, so they say openly. The Chairman, House Committee on Rules, Business and Ethics, Otuekong Ita Enang, also brought a group to the state to drum up support for the President.
Thus, from all indications, Jonathan might pick 100 per cent of Akwa Ibom votes at the primaries, unless something unimaginable happens before then.
Also, the voting pattern of Edo State delegates to the PDP primaries, according to Tony Osauzo, is not likely to favour Atiku. Although Babangida's former deputy, Admiral Augustus Aikhomu; former Deputy Senate President, Albert Legogie and director-general of his campaign organisation, Dr. Raymond Dokpesi, are from the state, they are not known to wield much influence and, therefore, may not help Atiku's cause. For Jonathan, the forces and power block backing him in the state are formidable. Barring any last minute political horse-trading, the president has the backing of Chief Tony Anenih, Dr. Sam Ogbemudia and Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe. His victory in the presidential primaries from the Edo flank would be made easier by the fact that, like other states in the South-South region, the sentiment is high that the region be allowed to produce the President in 2011.
In Delta State, checks by Buchy Enyinnaya revealed that Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan is an unrepentant apostle of Jonathan's 2011 ambition. Thus, it is within convenient prediction that the chunk of votes by the state's delegates to the forthcoming PDP primaries will go to the president.
Jonathan's luck could be said to have come about because former governor of the state, Chief James Ibori is on exile. Ibori is influential and could have swayed votes against Jonathan, who is believed to have been hunting him. With Ibori in Dubai, his influence will not be much on the delegates. If any would go against the president, it would be minority vote.
SOUTH EAST ZONE
In the five states of the South-East: Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo, the fever of the PDP presidential primaries is high, as the people of the region know full well the enormous strength the party would exert in the 2011 presidential polls.
For the people in the five states and the entire Igbo nation, their support naturally for Jonathan and Atiku would have been highly depended on the one that would serve well the Igbo quest of ascending the presidency in 2015. The Igbo, both at home and in the Diaspora, are unanimous in the clamour for a president of Igbo extraction in 2015. Therefore, among the Igbo, there are many who think that the North serving out their eight years, which President Umar Yar'Adua left vacant when he died midway before the end of the first leg of the eight years, would best serve the Igbo 2015 agenda. This school of thought, among the Igbo, has mainly those supporting Atiku's presidential bid.
In fact, the five South-East governors: Chief Theodore Orji, Mr. Peter Obi, Chief Martin Elechi, Dr. Sullivan Chime and Chief Ikedi Ohakim had, at their South East Governors' Forum, in July, agreed not to run for the presidency or offer themselves to serve as vice president, apparently to keep the Igbo dream in 2015 alive. Then, the five governors had also agreed to Jonathan, just as the pan-Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, did.
For political analysts, since governors Orji, Ohakim, Chime and Elechi have declared to support Jonathan, Atiku will be having a tough time in the primaries, since these governors are the party leaders in their states.
Saturday Sun survey in the five states showed that the PDP primaries battle will essentially favour Jonathan. Here are the intrigues and permutations in the region that would shape the outcome of the PDP presidential primaries.
The crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Anambra State, our correspondent, Geoffrey Anyanwu, reports, would make it difficult for Jonathan and Atiku to be sure of block support from the state. Today, two executives are laying claim to the leadership of the party in the state, with Chief Emma Nweze leading the newly inaugurated executive by the national leadership of the party and Chief Benji Udeozor leading another group that is laying claim to a court order reinstating them as the authentic executive.
Though Jonathan and Atiku have coordinators in the state, they have not identified with any of the two executives, a situation that made them to now run their respective campaign organisations independent of the party. Investigations revealed that Jonathan's campaign organisation in the state cuts the picture of the broken China in the sun, as it has cohesion, but lacks a common front. At every nook and cranny of the state, one could see pockets of offices, perceived to be the secretariats of his campaign organisation. The Jonathan's bug did not even spare the ruling All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in the state, as some of its members have continued to hobnob with the Presidency. For Atiku, there are no visible supporters yet. However, with the crisis in the party at the state level, it is obvious that those at the party's national headquarters would decide what happens. This would, no doubt, place Jonathan at advantage because it is likely that the Dr Okwesilieze Nwodo-led National Working Committee (NWC) would only recognise the state executive led by Chief Nweze it recently put in place.
Also, with the fear that the national leadership would work for the president, many in the state believe that the majority of the delegates from Anambra will queue behind Jonathan.
Our correspondent, Petrus Obi reports that President Jonathan and Atiku have, in one way or the other, penetrated Enugu State, as they battle to clinch the PDP presidential ticket. The three aspirants have also had a fair share of offices opened by different groups in the struggle over who coordinates the campaigns of the leading aspirants. However, deciding who gets the votes of the people of the state goes beyond posters, banners or number of campaign offices, as this would rather be determined by the different power blocks in the state, especially within the PDP.
The blocks led by prominent politicians, such as the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani; former governor of old Anambra State, Senator Jim Nwobodo; former Senate President, Ken Nnamani; Governor Sullivan Chime; National Chairman of the PDP, Dr Nwodo; and Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, are having different interests, which point to the fact that the votes from the state would be split.
Currently, Senators Nwobodo and Ken Nnamani have been working closely. The two are believed to have pitched tent with Babangida/Atiku group and are reported to have been attending meetings in the North from where they have been given the mandate to convince the people of the South-East on the need to support a northern candidate. With their influence in the state, their power block is potent enough to garner votes for Atiku.
When the wife of President Jonathan visited Enugu State on September 13, Chime openly declared his support for Jonathan. Chime had also led the caucus of the PDP in the state to endorse President Jonathan as their candidate, on the eve of the visit of the First Lady. He had told the caucus that Jonathan was the only person who has told him of his intention to vie for the presidency.
Many believe that Chime, as the leader of the party in the state, will play a very vital role in determining who wins the majority votes from the state during the primaries. The Chime block will get a boost from the support of Senator Ekweremadu, who had resisted all efforts to cause rift between him and the governor ahead of the 2011 general elections. He has always pledged support to the state government, and his support for the president has also been very strong and unwavering, particularly as it has become obvious that this would guarantee his return to the Senate for the third term.
Another formidable camp in the state is the PDP national chairman's block. There appears to be no love lost between the national party chairman and Governor Chime. This has been traced to the forthcoming primaries, where supporters and allies of Nwodo are fighting to ensure that the state party executive is reconstituted to accommodate his group. Although Nwodo is seen as a believer in the Jonathan project, which manifested in the way he supported the take-over of Abia State and its Governor Orji, his relationship with Governor Chime, ahead of the party primaries, will largely contribute in deciding who Enugu PDP will give support among IBB, Atiku and Jonathan.
Another factor in the PDP primaries in the state is the Ebeano political group nurtured by former Governor Nnamani. The Ebeano group has come alive again in the state when everybody thought it was dead and buried. The recent police brutality and intimidation meted out to the former governor and his supporters, during his recent return to the state, have not deterred him from his resolve in the 2011 project, which is to unseat his estranged godson, Chime. The Agbani chief and senator, since he returned to the state, has been meeting with his supporters.A part of the Ebeano group is working with Nwodo, for Jonathan, while the other part has registered a political party, Peopes for Democratic Change (PDC), with which to fight the political battle in the state.
Although the state's House of Assembly endorsed Atiku, when he met with the lawmakers, and later withdrew the support, the chances of the former vice president are slim in the state.
In Abia, our correspondent, Chuks Onuoha reports, it is was only Babangida and Jonathan whose intention to run for the presidency is felt. Nothing much was heard of the Atiku people. In fact, there is no group seen to be supporting or campaigning for him. The way things are in the state, President Jonathan has an edge in the state, especially since Governor T. A. Orji defected from APGA to PDP. Some months ago, a group called Friends for Democracy for Goodluck Jonathan held a rally in Abia, where it gave reasons the president should be re-elected. Jonathan already has a massive campaign headquarters along Finbers road, Umuahia. The campaign slogan that is making waves in the state now is that a vote for T.A. Orji means a support for Jonathan. The snag for Jonathan is that many Abia indigenes believe that Governor Orji has not achieved anything in three and half years and may not guarantee votes for himself, in an fair contest, let alone for Jonathan.
From Ebonyi, Emmanuel Uzor reports that there are so many forces and power blocks formed by politicians in the state, with a view to delivering their preferred candidate at the PDP presidential primaries. Some of the blocks are drawn along the line of Jonathan and Atiku. However, President Jonathan tops the list of the preferred candidates, as both the governor and the executives of the PDP are on ground for him. Atiku is not the best candidate for the people of the state.
Right from the beginning, Governor Elechi has remained resolute in his support for President Jonathan, even when the storm was turbulent over his becoming the acting president, which, indeed, earned him the South-East coordinator for Jonathan. Apart from Governor Elechi, the executives of the PDP in the state, who have been adjudged a rubber stamp under the leadership of Engr. Dave Umahi, are also in the fore-front of the campaign to see Jonathan through in the party's primaries.
Also, Governor Elechi and his men appear battle ready to whip the opposition into submission by making sure that those who have been crying foul over alleged high-handedness of the government and the party chairman do not find their ways back to the party.
Besides, the National Assembly members from the state, including Senator Anthony Agbo of Ebonyi North, Senator Anyim Ude of the South senatorial zone and Mrs. Elizabeth Ogbaga, member representing Ebonyi/Ohaukwu Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives are throwing their weight behind Jonathan.
For Mrs. Ogbaga, the emergence of Jonathan is already a concluded issue, as she is one of the people rallying for support for the president. However, those who are aggrieved about this political arrangement in the state are rooting for Atiku.
In recent advertorials, some groups in the country, including the former governor of Ebonyi State, Dr. Sam Egwu, had backed down support for President Jonathan in the 2011 presidential election. It is, therefore, evident that Dr. Egwu and his group within the party may have thrown their weight behind Atiku, whose support base in Ebonyi is insignificant.
In spite of the lingering crisis rocking the leadership of PDP in Imo State, which polarised the party into various camps, our correspondent, Val Okara, reports that unfolding events indicate that party delegates from the state in the upcoming presidential primaries would queue behind President Jonathan. The suspected backing gained impetus following the recent public declaration by Governor Ikedi Ohakim, shortly after he visited President Jonathan at Aso Rock in Abuja to support him.
Before now, rumour was rife in Imo that Ohakim was considering joining another party because of the long-standing disagreement between his New Face of Imo group and the Alliance Group of his archrival, Senator Ifeanyi Araraume and former Governor Achike Udenwa. But with Ohakim conducting the local government elections in Imo recently, where his group clinched all the council seats, the Alliance Group was been pushed out of reckoning, leading to the defection of its arrowheads - Araraume and Udenwa - to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Another support also came the way of President Jonathan, with the recent motion by the state House of Assembly that unanimously enjoined the national leadership of the PDP to adopt Jonathan as the consensus candidate of the party in the 2011 presidential election.
For Atiku, the Imo PDP delegates see him as one politician who has been inconsistent, having deserted the party a few years ago to pursue his presidential ambition, only to make a dramatic return. Therefore, it would be a surprise if he enjoys the support of any of the delegates from the state.
NORTH- EAST ZONE
For the PDP, the North East is the home of zoning and rotation. Leader of the Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF), Mallam Adamu Ciroma, is from Yobe State, while former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is from Adamawa State. The other northern aspirants in PDP, who embraced the consensus arrangement, have strong supporters in the North East. However, the emergence of Atiku as northern consensus aspirant has changed the calculation in the zone. Some PDP leaders, who hitherto supported such aspirants as Babangida and Gusau, have switched camp to Jonathan and Atiku.
Aitku is from this state. His defection from the PDP to the Action Congress (AC), on whose ticket he contested the 2007 presidential election, was a big setback for him. In his absence, Governor Murtala Nyako and Professor Jibril Aminu were on top of the political landscape of the PDP. The duo are said to be on the same political wave length, with regards to the PDP presidential primaries. Aminu was pro-Babangida until recently. Nyako, was also said to be supporting Babangida until recently when the former military president pulled out of the race. He is believed to have resolved his differences with Atiku, despite the fact that the Jonathan lure is still strong in the state.
The body language of Aminu when he marked his 72nd birthday last month suggests that he has sympathy for Atiku. He publicly called for the rehabilitation of Atiku and wandered if the refusal of the NEC of the party to give him a waiver as it did for others was because he hails from Adamawa.
Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, Abubakar Halilu Girei, Senator Jonathan Zwingina and some governorship aspirants, who felt short-changed when the PDP did not conduct primaries before presenting Nyako as candidate of the party in 2007, are believed to be working together for Jonathan. Indeed, Zwingina is the leading voice for the Jonathan presidential ambition. The group is strongly against the composition of the state executive. As it stands, the fight over the control of the state PDP exco will determine those who will be delegates at the congresses and the convention.
Atiku stands a good chance in the state, as his followers in AC have moved en masse to the PDP. His victory, however, is dependent on the support of Nyako and Aminu, who may work for him because of Babangida. Jonathan would also make an in-road in the state. He may come distant second.
Governor Isa Yuguda is working for Jonathan, as the coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo Campaign Organisation in the North East zone. Since he dumped the All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), he calls the short in the state chapter of PDP. He is married to the daughter of the late President Yar'Adua and was one of those considered to be Jonathan's deputy when his father-in-law died.
Jonathan has strong support in the state, as Yuguda and minister for Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Bada Mohammed, are working for him. Although it is believed that some politicians in the state are pro-zoning and power shift, Yuguda's control of the party machinery may swing the votes for Jonathan. However, the president will not get all the votes in the state, because the resentment against Yuguda, coming from the camp of his former deputy and that of the former governor of the state, may work in Atiku's favour and give him some votes out of the 110 delegates.
This has been a stronghold of the ANPP since 1999. The leading PDP leaders in the state are Yakubu Bello and Senator Usman Albashir, who defected following disagreement with the state ANPP leadership. There is also the Minister for Police Affairs, Alhaji Adamu Maina and Alhaji Hassan Saleh. Some leaders, such as Alhaji Abba Gana Tata, rooted for Babangida. It is not clear if they would now support Atiku since Babangida and the former vice president are working together. Most of the party leaders are, however, said to have sympathy for Jonathan. The campaign for Jonathan in the state is be