The ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), has been busy managing its endless squabbles while the opposition parties are making moves to flush it out of the Presidential Villa come 2015. But the plan to impose President Goodluck Jonathan on the party as the sole candidate might be the last straw that would break the camel’s back, reports BAYO OLADEJI.
As the 2015 general election draws nearer, the foot soldiers of President Goodluck Jonathan have been reportedly having nocturnal meetings where permutations and scheming of how he would emerge the sole candidate of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the presidential poll.
The first plan is how to amend the party’s constitution to ensure there would be no other aspirants to contest the party’s ticket as it is the case in the United States where the incumbent has right of refusal before throwing the race open. But some forces who felt cheated from the last presidential primaries are regrouping and plotting how to scuttle the process.? ?
Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has stated that the proposed plan by the party to amend its constitution in the coming convention will not succeed. Atiku made the remarks while fielding questions from journalists after he paid a courtesy call on Governor Rabi’u Kwankwaso at the Government House, Kano.
“The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria gives any interested Nigerian, the right to contest any position of his or her choice. It is also unconstitutional as far as the PDP constitution is concerned. Nobody should stop anybody from contesting an election. And I don’t think an amendment of the PDP constitution is going to succeed anyway,” he said, describing the move as an infringement on the rights of Nigerians.”
Feelers from the party has shown that the party might adopt affirmation of YES or NO as a way to ensure President Goodluck Jonathan overcomes the plot of the ‘rebels’ plotting to stop him at all cost amending the constitution would not be possible.
While the opposition parties are working behind the scene to wrest power come 2015, the ruling party is polarized over what to do; while the faction loyal to President? Jonathan is telling those who care to listen that the President is entitled to two terms as allowed by the constitution and the Electoral Act, those who think otherwise, led by the likes of Governor Babangida Aliyu are asking the President to keep top the one term gentleman pact signed in 2010 before he was endorsed by the PDP Governors.
LEADERSHIP has it on good authority that one of the reasons for the emergence of Chief Tony Anenih a.k.a Mr. Fix it, is to fix the second term ticket for Jonathan at the expense of those who are eyeing his job, by telling them ‘there is no vacancy in Aso Rock’.
“Chief Anenih was brought in, to ensure an automatic ticket for President Goodluck Jonathan. He is a party man to the core who believes a sitting President has the right to decide whether to contest or not as it is the practice in America where we copied the Presidential system. His first assignment is to sell the idea to all the party faithfuls and then move to phase two which is to ensure nobody contests against the President come 2015”, a Presidency source disclosed.
Speaking further, the source said when the time comes, the party might likely shun the conventional presidential primaries held at Abuja but instead, hold conventions in each of the six geo-political zones where the modality of voting would be voice acclamation YES/NO which can be easily manipulated.
“Although 2015 is still far but very close, what I would tell you now is that the PDP might not follow the usual presidential primaries that produced Chief Obasanjo in Jos and later in Abuja, but instead, embrace zonal convention and each zone is expected to adopt him and a special convention would then hold in Abuja to ratify the zonal convention’s decision.”
According to him, “there has never been a time in America where the ruling party would hold presidential primaries with the sitting president and other aspirants. The reason is once the president shows interest, other aspirants would bury their aspirations unlike what is happening in our party. We need to do what other developed democracies are doing.”
Another source dismissed all the hullabaloo about the proposed merger of the opposition under the aegis of the All Progressive Congress. According to him, ‘there is no amount of merger that can stop the PDP from winning the 2015 presidential poll.’’
His reasons, “We know the opposition would never be united. They would soon be divided over who becomes their candidate. We all know some elements would want Gen Buhari to be their candidate while others would stop at nothing from stopping him and that would put an end to the whole noise they are making. With Buhari, we know how to stop him since he had contested thrice. He is a veteran loser and we would go to bed with him. So, we are waiting for them. Whoever they pick would be defeated. Mark my words.”
The opposition is capitalizing on the endless intra squabbles rocking the ruling PDP to wrest power from its leaders come 2015 but are the opposition ready for the crises ahead which they would be thrown into by the PDP once the election would be a few days to go?