Atiku's Camp expresses dismay at voting procedure, Convention Committee...US position on Atiku worries PDP

Listen to article

With the voting by delegates yet to take off at the Eagle Square, the Abubakar Atiku's camp appears to be growing grey hairs over the composition of the Special Convention Committee, and the voting procedure.

The convention slated for 10am is yet to take off as 4.30pm local time, because of security screening at the entrances to the Eagle Square. Although President Goodluck Jonathan is yet to arrive, Atiku and Sarah Jibril are already seated.

Media aide, Garba Shehu, and another top Atiku's staff, Udenta Udenta, today expressed dismay at the composition and procedure. They argue that both were designed to favor President Goodluck Jonathan. also learnt that some top party men and delegates are expressing worry at the position of the United States on Atiku's candidature, considering the US's position on corruption and the Department of Justice indictment of Atiku over “ suspect fund'' stashed in US banks.

As at last night most of the Governors loyal to Jonathan prevented their delegates from having audience with Atiku to forestall any type of inducement. According to our source, all the Governors in the South-south, South West, and North central presented their delegates to President Jonathan in their respective Governor's Lodge last night.

At the convention ground, all the Governors on Jonathan side are currently seating with their respective delegates in a move aimed at ensuring that the delegates voting pattern are closely monitored

In the North, Jonathan may capture Kaduna, where VP sambo and Ex Governor , Markaffi hold sway, Bauchi, ( Gov. Isa Yuguda is in charge) Kebbi, Gov Ibrahim Shema is Jonathan's campaign coordinator, while in the South East, Imo, Abia, Ebonyin and Anambra could go to Jonathan, with Atiku expected to put a good show in Enugu due to the crisis in that state. All the south east Governors except Enugu's Sylvian Chime have openly told Atiku to stay away from their delegates.

Govs Godswill Akpabio, (Akwa Ibom), Martins Elechi( Ebonyin), Timipre silva (Bayelsa) are campaign coordinators for the President,

However, Atiku appears to have some edge in Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Borno, and Sokoto.He would also pluck votes from Enugu, but could split the Adamawa votes with Jonathan considering the Murtala Nyako and Grace Bent factor. His advantage in these states could also be due to the fact that so many state Assemblies and National Assembly lost the primaries after being assured of support by Jonathan.

The members of the committee are Shettima Mustapha(Borno), Sule Lamido(Jigawa), Martins Elechi (Ebonyin),Godswill akpabio;, (Akwa Ibom; Alao Akala, (Oyo); and Ojo Maduekwe. They are all tagged that 'President's men'Aside from Shema, all others have openly canvassed for Jonathan.

Shehu argued that “ Didn't you see the list of the membership of the committee, Do you know that the five states that Atiku went and wasn't allowed to enter those states, wasn't allowed to meet delegates, those were the Governors that were rewarded with the membership”

The procedure, Atiku contends, would expose who voted for whom. Each state would drop votes in separate boxes, at the end it would be counted, therefore who voted for who from each state would be revealed instantly.

Udenta is of the view that to be fair to Atiku, “after each state have voted, instead of count per state, all the 36 boxes plus that of Abuja should be emptied in a large pool before counting”

According to sources, since most of the Governors had taken charge, and expected to deliver delegates to Jonathan, if the President wins, those Governors who could deliver majority votes could lose relevance in the PDP and the Presidency.

Said the source “so many of these Governors are angling for second term, so if the PDP top brass and the Jonathan's camp find out a particular Governor could deliver, it could affect that Governor”