2015 PRESIDENCY WAR
A huge wind of change is quietly blowing across the political horizon and it may change the political landscape of Nigeria. Political foes of yesterday are today in hot romance, as they plot and scheme for 2015 presidential election. In the new alignment, traditional political power wielders are quietly being sidelined and from all indications the politics of Nigeria may soon witness a new dawn.
Sources close to Aso Rock, the sit of power, told Saturday Sun that the nature and the intensity of the power play is now a source of worry to President Goodluck Jonathan, who recently cried out that he had barely spent one year in office, out of four years tenure, while people interested in his job are already scheming, thus destabilising his government indirectly.
Saturday Sun gathered that while Jonathan is lamenting, politicians are perfecting plans for 2015. It was gathered that three zones are working together on the 2015 project. They are South East, South South and the North Central (Middle Belt).
Sources revealed that members of the political leaders of the three zones have started holding meetings to work out how they would work together to ensure that the next president either comes from the North Central or South East. Leaders of the zones are also reaching out to their counterparts in South West, which is controlled by Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).
Sources revealed that the alliance is meant to stop the North West and North East from producing the next president, if the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) decides to zone the presidency to the North in 2015, as being speculated.
Political leaders from the North had admitted, during the presidential election campaign in 2011, that the South East always align with it. They had banked on South East support, against Jonathan. Instead, the South East massively voted for Jonathan, who's from South South, against the tradition. Checks revealed that the campaign team of General Muhammadu Buhari was dazed when Jonathan won almost 100 per cent of the votes from the South East. His calculation was that since South East and South South had never really worked together during elections, the former would support a northerner in 2011. He was wrong and was roundly defeated, even though he contested the votes posted for South East states.
South South leaders told Saturday Sun that the decision of the South East to vote en masse for Jonathan last year was a reconciliatory move and a sign of new things to come. One of the leaders said: ' You see how the South East voted for Jonathan? It was like saying sorry to your brother for the wrongs of the past. We are now working in the same direction. We are working together.'
Why South East and South South were political 'enemies'
Some leaders from South South said last week that the civil war was one of the events that caused a gulf between the South East and South South. Prior to the war, the two zones were part of Eastern Nigeria. During the war, the zones was in the defunct Biafra. It was gathered that the South South people, at that time, were afraid of South East domination and, therefore, aligned with the federal troops when the Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, created 12 states, with one for South southern part of the Eastern Region.
South South leaders told Saturday Sun that had the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu proclaimed Federal Republic of Biafra instead of Republic of Biafra and created states in the South South area of the Eastern Nigeria, he would have got stronger support from the zone.
One of the leaders said: ' Ojukwu, as an historian, should have known that the declaration of the Republic of Biafra was a mistake. What he should have done was to declare a Federal Republic of Biafra. He should have immediately created Calabar, Ogoja and Rivers states, since Yakubu Gowon created 12 states. We all know that Gowon created the states because he wanted to win the support of the Calabar, Ogoja and Rivers people. If only he created states and declared the new country a federal republic, no power on earth could have stopped Biafra.'
According to one of the South South leaders, Adaka Boro led the first move at secession early in the 1960s when he declared the Republic of the Niger Delta. It resulted in a six-day war. Boro was arrested and tried. He was pardoned and he joined the Nigerian army under the leadership of Brigadier Benjamin Adekunle, who was the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the 3rd Marine Commando. He led the troops that ensured the liberation of Port Harcourt from Biafra and was killed in a gun battle.
Political calculation for 2015
As of today, four northern politicians are reportedly working quietly but effectively to contest PDP presidential ticket. Sources close to the politicians said they are all oiling their political machine in preparation for the race in 2015. They are Vice President Namadi Sambo, Senate President David Mark; Niger State Governor, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu and Bauchi State Governor, Isa Yuguda.
By the calculation of these politicians, President Jonathan will not seek a second term, as he promised. Sources close to the power brokers in Abuja said the Senator Mark and the Vice President Sambo are the two front runners at present, while the two governors are working underground, without making their intentions known. According to the sources, the fact that Mark is from North Central boosts his chances. He's banking on the phobia for candidates from North West and North East at present.
However, the fact that Niger State is in North Central puts Governor Aliyu in serious contention. Besides, sources said that Aliyu stands a better chance since PDP has shown the penchant of picking from among governors for the positions of president and vice president, since after former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Also, Aliyu is a Muslim from the North Central.
Checks revealed that politicians in South East are not relenting in their effort to ensure that the zone produces the president in 2015. Although no politician is showing interest to contest for the post of President, there is speculation that Governors Peter of Obi (Anambra State) and Rochas Okorocha (Imo State), who are members of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) may join the PDP if the party zones the 2015 Presidency to South East. Sources revealed that President Jonathan is favourably disposed to supporting Governor Obi for presidency, if the South East is favoured in the zoning arrangement, or for vice president if the North gets the presidential slot. Governor Okorocha, on his part, is believed to be banking on the massive support he has in South East, following his defeat of former Imo State governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, to bid for the PDP ticket.