Home » Elections 2011, Raw Politics » Jonathan Queries Sambo Over Poor Attendance at Kaduna Rally

Jonathan Queries Sambo Over Poor Attendance at Kaduna Rally

THE poor turnout of supporters at the Northwest launching of the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential campaign may have earned Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo a verbal query from President Goodluck Jonathan.
Besides, the rally, which saw several delegates from the zone, mostly those from Kaduna State, staging a walk-out from the stadium, has precipitated a feud between Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa, and the Deputy Governor, Alhaji Muktar Ramalan Yero, over funds allocated for the rally.
This is coming as the PDP ended its zonal campaign in Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday amid a carnival-like reception for the president and his deputy.
There were also reports of a stampede at the Port Harcourt rally, in which about 20 people were reported to have died with scores of others sustaining injuries.
Highlight of yesterday’s campaign rally was the presentation of flags to Governors Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers, Godswill Akpabio of Akwa-Ibom, Timipre Sylva of Bayelsa, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta and Liyel Imoke of Cross River State to contest the April elections.
Amaechi described yesterday as historic because on the same day and at same venue in 2007, the then PDP leadership, under the influence of some persons that wanted to play god, had denied him the party ticket, which was restored by a Supreme Court judgment.
Jonathan was in Kaduna to flag-off his campaign for the Northwest towards the scheduled general elections in April.
Reports said that delegates from some of the states in the zone had walked out on Jonathan, who eventually addressed a sparse crowd of supporters at the main bowl of the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.
A competent Presidency source hinted yesterday in Kaduna that Jonathan had expressed his displeasure to Sambo over the low turnout and poor organization of the rally.
The development has now questioned the vice president’s capacity to handle and deliver the Northwest during the general elections.
“What kind of outing is this?” the source quoted Jonathan as asking the vice president who, according to the source, could not proffer any answer.
The source noted that Jonathan is particularly concerned given the outcome of the recent presidential primaries during which the he won in only three out of the seven states in the zone.
The source argued: “The President was expecting to get a rousing reception during the Kaduna rally, as the Vice President comes from the Northwest zone but that was not the case.”
It was also stressed that the commissioning of a railway line at Rigassa, in Kaduna suburb, by President Jonathan was put off following tip-off that the hostile inhabitants of the community were poised to protest against the president’s convoy, thereby repeating the ugly situation faced by Jonathan in Nasarawa State.
“Security report was not favourable for the commissioning of the railway line in Rigassa, which is expected to link Kaduna to Abuja. That was why President Jonathan could not go to Rigassa for the commissioning ceremony,” a source said.   
Meanwhile, reports indicate that heads may roll in Kaduna following the failure of one of the local sub-committees for the organization of the presidential campaign rally to use allocated funds for the mobilization of PDP supporters.
A Kaduna Government House source noted that, “Governor Yakowa is aggrieved having approved the disbursement of N10 million for mobilization of supporters to attend the rally from the local government areas, a project which the committee, headed by the deputy governor, did not execute.”
The relationship between Yakowa and the deputy governor has reportedly degenerated in recent times over the governor’s decision to run for the April race for which the PDP has given him the nod, during the governorship primary elections.
“As you are very much aware, this mobilization money has further divided Governor Yakowa and the deputy governor and it is the governor’s belief that it was a deliberate attempt to undermine his ability to mobilize the people for the President,” the Government House source said.
Yakowa, from the southern part of Kaduna State, emerged governor following the elevation of Sambo, his predecessor, to the position of Vice President.
The northern Kaduna zone believes that the area ought to retain the governorship seat till 2015 before it moves to the south.

The Guardian’s
attempts to get the reaction of the Commissioner of Information, Alhaji Saidu Adamu, who is a member of the Organising Committee of the Northwest zone for the Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Campaign, to the instant issues failed at the weekend.
Calls to his three mobile telephone lines yesterday proved abortive, as they were switched off.
President Jonathan said yesterday that the Federal Government plans to make the Niger Delta region the hub of petrochemical industry in Africa.
He said in a bid to tackle unemployment in the Niger Delta, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was discussing with the private sector across the world to bring more investors to the Niger Delta, to establish petrochemical industries in the region.
“The Niger Delta has to be the hub of petrochemical in Africa. We are going to work hard; else other nations will take it away from us. And the NNPC is working hard on that,” he said.
The president, who described the youths of the region as dynamic and bound to be restive if expectations were not met, however, appealed to them to cooperative with the government to ensure calm in the region, as no investor would want to spend money in an area perceived to be unsafe.
Explaining that the circumstance of the region would never remain the same if he were elected to office in April, said his candidacy with his running mate, Vice President Namadi Sambo, “signifies unity and clearly shows that the country has moved away from the era of politics of ethnicity, language or religion.”
He assured the people that after the April general elections, he would sit with the governors of the 36 states of the federation to map out a five-point strategic development plan, articulating for implementation, all the key projects of the government.
The president said his administration would assiduously ensure that the blueprint that would be produced at the meeting would be implemented to the letter “because the government does not intend to abandon any project it may start.”
Jonathan, who said he was not necessarily in the South-South to campaign but to laud the people for their massive support for his aspiration; noted that the people’s decision to support him was based on their belief that he was capable to make Nigeria better.
The Vice President Sambo praised the region for the block vote they have pleaded to give himself and his principal during the April presidential election.
The Acting National Chairman of the PDP, Muhammed Bello, commended the zone for bestowing on Nigeria a gem, which people from the six geopolitical zones have wholeheartedly accepted.
The coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo campaign in the South-South and Governor of Cross River State, Liyel Imoke, described the president’s campaign flag-off as a mere formality “because the region has long resolved to vote for only the Goodluck/Sambo ticket.”
He said Nigeria needed a breath of fresh air and that was why the region decided to give one of its own, who is generally acceptable to all, to run for the presidency.
The Vice Chairman of the PDP (South-South), Edet Okon Nkpubre, said the party, which has dominated the region since 1999 with its loss of Edo State to the Action Congress of Nigeria in 2008, was determined to maintain its dominance.
-Guardian

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