Indications emerged last night President Goodluck Jonathan was uncomfortable with his dwindling political fortunes in the National Assembly despite the control of the two chambers of the national legislature by his party.
Presidential sources hinted Saturday Vanguard that Jonathan was particularly irked by the show of shame that erupted on the floor of the House of Representatives earlier in the week as a result of the face off between his supporters and opponents in the PDP, which broke into two last month.
There have been reports that a fat sum of money, which was meant to be disbursed to sympathetic lawmakers was not properly distributed thereby infuriating those who made the money available.
Some lawmakers were said to have receive a paltry $25,000 instead of $100,000 said to have been earmarked for them.
The wrong application of the money is said to have been partly responsible for the free-for-all on the floor of the House of Representatives during the week.
The source said that Jonathan was compelled to fire his Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters, Sen. Joy Emordi, because of her perceived weakness and inability to influence the lawmakers in his favour.
The Presidency is said to have complained that Emordi had not been able to exert her position on the legislature and attract the requisite respect and support from majority of the members for Jonathan since her engagement about two years ago.
Presidential strategists pondered why the ‘opponents’ of the President appeared to be gaining more attention in the NASS in spite of the position of Emordi and hordes of other officials working for the President.
A source said, “It is clear to Mr. President that Emordi’s presence has not earned him the needed leverage in the legislature as many members continue to work against his interest despite the fact that they are from the dame party.
“She (Emordi) has clearly demonstrated through a lackluster perforce that she cannot build the required bridge between the President and the lawmakers and she had to go,” the source said.
It was learnt last night that the Presidency was already shopping for a more fiery northern politician, who would not only be able to attract the necessary political clout but also be able to mobilise support for the President.
Olagunju on the other hand is said to have failed to move NEPAD from its precarious state since his appointment and had to be booted out by the Presidency.
“NEPAD under Olagunju was dead and was only waiting for its final burial,” a source in the agency lamented, saying that the man had even outlived his usefulness.
Reacting to the development yesterday, Senator Joy Emodi in between receiving calls from serving legislators and well wishers expressed thanks to the president and the legislators for the support given her in the course of her assignment.
“I thank the president and all the legislators for the opportunity given to me to work with them.”
Senator Emodi was appointed to the position in 2011 and walked the difficult path of forging cordiality between the administration and the often skeptical National Assembly.
She was able to win the confidence of the legislators despite the hard feelings felt towards some elements in the administration. [Vanguard]