All appears not to be well within the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as governors have reportedly given three conditions to back President Goodluck Jonathan’s yet-to-be unannounced re-election bid.
The conditions include:
•allowing outgoing governors to choose their successors;
•automatic second term tickets for those running first term in office; and
•automatic senatorial seats for governors aspiring to be in the Senate.
Although the president is set to emerge the sole presidential flag bearer of the ruling party, there is confusion on how to meet the demands of the governors, The Nation quotes a source.
Some of the governors are threatening protest votes in their states if they are not allowed to have their way, with the PDP National Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Muazu is said to be making frantic efforts to manage the situation.
Muazu, who is opposed to automatic tickets, has to devise means of accommodating the agitation of the governors, a source said.
It is believed that most of the PDP governors, whose maximum two-terms of eight years come to an end in 2015, are eyeing the senate. While some of them are being prevailed upon to go to the red chamber, others are bent on forcing themselves on the people.
A governor said: “All the governors are united in their demands to have a say on who will succeed them and second term tickets for their colleagues who still have the opportunity of another term in office.
“They said if the President can enjoy automatic second term ticket, it should spread across the board.
“The party is thinking that such a development will shut out other good hands in the party.
“But most of us do not buy into that argument at all. We believe whatever is sauce for the goose ought to be sauce for the gander”.
Responding to a question, the source said: “The likelihood of realignment of forces and protest votes cannot be ruled out”.
Another governor said there was no way the party would not make concessions to allow the second term ticket of the president to sail through.
“The PDP leadership may say there is no automatic ticket but there will certainly be negotiations to make certain things to work. Mark my words, the PDP governors cannot allow Jonathan to have his way without anything in return. This is politics”, said the governor, who requested not to be named.
“We are back to the 2003 era when ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo wanted the second term ticket. Governors want to be politically relevant after leaving office and fairness demands some concessions.
“We have been making our demands known to the party. We hope it will accommodate these agitations to keep the party intact for 2015 poll”.