Months after some governors elected on the platform of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), dumped the party for All Progressives Congress (APC), fresh facts have emerged on why governors Aliyu Babangida of Niger State and Sule Lamido of Jigawa State declined to join the opposition party. They were actually left behind to engage incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan in a political “fight” from within.
The decision to leave both governors, it was gathered, was part of the calculations of the North to democratically wrestle power from the the incumbent President.
“The Northern PDP leaders tactically kept Sule Lamido in PDP to fight President Jonathan from inside. If Sule wins PDP primaries, some of the governors that left in annoyance may come back,” a source that pleaded not to be named, told Saturday Newswatch in Abuja.
The rumoured presidential ambition of Governor Lamido, which apparently thawed immediately two of his sons were arrested and arraigned, literally assumed another life of its own when former President Olusegun Obasanjo visited Jigawa State recently, and allegedly gave the governor the nudge to aspire to the nation’s highest p olitical office.
Obasanjo, who was accompanied by Otunba Johnson Fasawe, also visited Sokoto, even though the State is now being ruled by the APC. It was believed that Obasanjo, who had told President Jonathan to honour an earlier agreement to run for only one term, was looking beyond the PDP primaries in his calculations.
The Ota farmer, Saturday Newswatch learnt, has also been in touch with a good number of ‘disgruntled elements’ within the party, with a view to positioning them for the post-PDP primary arrangement.
But a second republic federal legislator and delegate to the ongoing National Conference, Hon. Sidi Ali, described Lamido’s touted presidential ambition as a big joke.
Ali said: “Governor Lamido has a serious moral baggage. Already security agencies have arrested two of his children who are not working, yet have over N10billion. The Sule Lamido I know loves his children, and he is ready to bargain for their freedom,” he stressed, adding that the whole idea of Lamido contesting is a gimmick .
A source close to some political heavyweights in the North further informed Saturday Newswatch that political opinion leaders would prefer the ruling PDP to select its standard bearer through primaries. Their reason: the general anger in the North would make it difficult to market.
The source said should Lamido lose the primaries, he is expected to cross over to APC, where a special position has been reserved for him.
The source said in the event that Lamido and his supporters are pushed out of PDP and forced to join the APC, it will make it easier for the APC to garner almost 32 million votes from both the South west and North west, while the party targets a 50-50 contest in the North central and South east.