President Goodluck Jonathan might have discovered a strategy for freeing himself from the clutches of governors hostile to his 2015 ambition, especially those from the states ruled by the Peoples Democratic Party. According to the PUNCH, at the centre of this strategy was a plan to empower ministers against the chief executives of their home states and create alternative power base from which Jonathan could tap for his second term ambition in 2015.
The ministers that would readily benefit from this presidential empowerment, as already discussed and decided on by members of the President’s kitchen cabinet, are those from states whose governors have been seen as antagonistic to Jonathan’s 2015 ambition.
According to a source who claimed to be privy to this strategy, “If the NGF election today does not go the way that will inspire confidence in the loyalty of the governors, the Presidency has a ‘Plan B’ option to fall back to.” The source said, “The Presidency has decided to strengthen the ministers in states where the governors are not favourably disposed to the second term ambition of the President… The need to have this was discussed at a recent meeting the President had with his close aides.
“The President is worried that the governors, even though some of them are from his party, are not working with him on the need for the party to win the 2015 presidential election… So, we have decided to make the ministers his point men in the affected states and also allow the ministers have representatives at each of the local governments in their states.”
Although the president had said on Sunday that he had no interest in the governors’ forum elections, there were indications that the Presidency would put the poll under close watch. The source said that the President had decided to sidetrack the unfriendly governors and use the ministers to mobilise support from such states. Thus, when the strategy begins to unfold, the ministers would be the one to nominate candidates from their states to be appointed to boards at the federal level. Apart from that, the ministers would also be allowed to appoint what the source called “a point man” at each local government.
Culled from the Punch