No fewer than five governors are in a “cold war” with First Lady Patience Jonathan over her alleged moves to impose their successors.
In the crises are Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Abia, Bauchi, and Kwara states, where the First Lady is believed to have anointed some aspirants for the governorship tickets.
A highly-placed source with deep insight into the challenges facing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said: “We have a crisis at hand, pitching some governors against the First Lady. It is a cold war which will soon become a major one, if President Goodluck Jonathan does not intervene.
“Even Bayelsa, the President’s state is not spared the looming crisis.”
In Bayelsa State, the First Lady is said to be backing the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Domestic and Social Events, Dr. Waripomowei Dudafa, for governor of the state.
“In spite of denial by the Office of the First Lady, there is already a campaign office in Bayelsa for Dudafa called ‘The New Dawn.’ This is a derivative of The New Phase, which was Sylva’s campaign structure,” the source, who pleaded not to be named because of what he called sensitivity of the matter, said.
In Akwa Ibom, the First Lady is alleged to be teaming up with ex-Governor Victor Attah to back the immediate past Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Umana Okon Umana, from Uyo Senatorial District on the state as Akpabio’s successor.
In Rivers State, Mrs. Jonathan is alleged to be interested in installing Senator George Thompson Sekibo, her kinsman from Okrika, as governor. There are fears that the First Lady may dump Minister of Education Nyesom Wike who has been the arrowhead of the “gang-up” against Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
The popular thinking in Delta State is that the First Lady has sympathy for a woman as Uduaghan’s successor.
In Bauchi, Governor Isa Yuguda is opposed to plans by the First Lady to impose the Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, as governor.
Governor Theodore Orji of Abia State is battling to convince the party to pick his successor. One of those believed to be in Orji’s consideration is the General Manager of Abia State Environmental Protection Agency (ASEPA), Aba Zone, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
But the First Lady might choose between an oil magnate and a retired military chief, although the businessman is rated higher.
In Kwara State, Mrs Jonathan’s preference for Senator Gbemisola Saraki is creating tension in the party. Some stakeholders plan to work for the All Progressives Congress (APC), if the popular wish is not respected.
The First Lady’s Media Assistant Mr. Ayo Adewuyi, in an electronic mail to journalists enquiry yesterday, said: “The First Lady has no plan and she is not planning to install any governor.
“Mrs. Jonathan appeals to the governors of Bayelsa and Bauchi states to ignore the mischief makers who are bent on disrupting the peace prevailing in those states.
“The First Lady is a mother of peace who believes in the supremacy of the party and democratic principles at all levels and does not dump her friends because of politics, whether they are contesting or not.
“She, therefore, urges all Nigerians to uphold the truth at all times, and not be swayed by actions of mischief makers.
Source: The Nation