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Three sitting PDP Govs Seek President Goodluck Jonathan Endorsement

There are indications that at least three sitting Peoples Democratic Party governors in the North are currently desperate for the support of President Goodluck Jonathan in the run-up to April’s governorship election.

Investigations by our correspondents on Friday showed that there was concern among the supporters of Zamfara State Governor, Alhaji Aliyu Shinkafi; his Sokoto State counterpart, Alhaji Aliyu Wamako; and Alhaji Usman Dankigari (Kebbi State) because of the fallout from this month’s PDP presidential primaries.

It was gathered that the chapters of the party feared that the President might not support them in the governorship poll because of his loss to former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, in the three states.

SATURDAY PUNCH gathered that the governors thought that they needed the backing of the President and the headquarters of the party to check the incursion of the Congress for Progressive Change, whose presidential candidate is the influential former head of state, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari.

At the PDP presidential primaries, Jonathan got 2,736 votes to defeat Abubakar, who scored 805 votes. The President, however, lost to the former VP in Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Niger and Kano states.

It was gathered that while the Niger State Governor, Alhaji Babangida Aliyu, was confident of winning the April governorship election with the support of former military dictator, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, his counterparts in Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara feared that the defeat of the President might affect their fortunes in the April poll.

Last week, Aliyu urged the former VP and other PDP aspirants, who lost in the primaries to accept their fate.

Also, the former military dictator, who was instrumental to the success of Abubakar in Niger State, had congratulated Jonathan on his victory in the PDP primaries.

However, there has been concern among the PDP members in Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano and even Bauchi, where the President got a slim victory by defeating Abubakar with two votes.

It was gathered that the governors of Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto had absolved themselves from the defeat of the President in their states.

SATURDAY PUNCH investigations showed that the division in the Bauchi State branch of the party made the President to almost lose the state.

A chieftain of the party in the state, who pleaded anonymity, said, “The state governor and the minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Senator Bala Mohammed are working at cross purposes because they are not on good terms.

“This paved way for Abubakar to worm himself into the hearts of the delegates. But I can assure you that we will unite during the forthcoming elections.”

It was gathered that in Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara states, the former VP’s main tool during campaigns was the zoning arrangement.

A member of the PDP National Working Committee said, “When Abubakar found it difficult to convince the governors to support him, he resorted to zoning and other parochial reasons when he met the delegates.”

Investigations showed that the Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara governors feared that Jonathan might remain neutral during the campaigns and the April elections.

The PDP NWC member said, “Our party members reason that we will need extra efforts to win some northern states, where the CPC has been making inroads. We should go for the elections united.”

Since it was established, many members of the PDP and other parties have been defecting to the CPC in the North. In Sokoto State, a factional leader of the PDP, Alhaji Ibrahim Magaji Gusau and his supporters defected to the CPC a few months ago.

In Kebbi, the state chairman of the PDP Elder’s Forum, Alhaji Sani Zauro and 3,000 supporters of former Governor Adamu Aliero have also defected to the party.

But the Director of Media and Publicity, Goodluck/Sambo Campaign Organisation, Mr. Sully Abu, said that the President would not discriminate against any candidate because he lost in some states.

He said, “No state is considered as too small or too big. No state is considered as an opposition state. The President is going to campaign everywhere for all the candidates of the party.

“The President realises that he can’t win them all. You lose some, you win some. If some people do not vote for you, you work harder to ensure that they vote for you another time.”

On the incursion of the CPC in some Northern states, he said, “We don’t see it as a threat. We have got to broaden our democracy; give people a choice. If the CPC is spreading it is a challenge to other parties, including the PDP to work harder.

“In spite of the noise about people defecting, what matters is what is delivered at the polls. Most people defect because people think their ambitions cannot be realised in the party they are.”

-Punch

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Posted by on Jan 29 2011. Filed under Latest Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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