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Jonathan, Defected PDP Govs: Once Jolly Friends

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

Sunday Special:: By Oyewale Oyelola

Once upon a time, President Goodluck Jonathan and some aggrieved PDP governors that later defected to All Progressives Congress (APC) were jolly friends whom many within PDP envy their cordial relationship.

Consequently, they are always in Presidential entourage for functions in Nigeria, International meetings, Bi-lateral agreement signing and even accompany President Jonathan to private visit to friends and families.

For instance, the impeached governor Muritala Nyako of Adamawa state during the 2011 PDP Presidential Primary election danced round Eagle Square, to display his ballot paper, which indicates that he voted for President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to mock former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar who is also from Adamawa. Nyako monitored all the Adamawa state delegates to ensure nobody voted for Atiku Abubakar who challenged Jonathan at the Presidential Primary Election.

While, Chairman, Nigerian Governors’ Forum and Rivers State governor, Rotimi Ameachi mobilized support for Jonathan election in 2011, insisting that it will be unfair to deny incumbent President party Presidential ticket because he is from majority group-South South.

Ameachi delivered 1.8million votes for Jonathan during April 2011 presidential election in Rivers state.

However, the introduction of Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF ) by federal government resulted in cold war between President Jonathan and some governors who threatened to sue FG, if FG deducts any fund from their monthly allocation to SWF.

Ameachi the outspoken NGF Chairman used the forum to pressurized Jonathan to drop proposed SWF. Presidency source admitted Amaechi led NGF was turning to pressure group in the country.

The growing influence of NGF led to formation of Peoples Democratic Party Governor Forum (PDPGF) with Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom state as chairman. PDPGF was founded to ensure ruling party speaks with one voice in NGF,  but many believe the formation of PDPGF was to stop Ameachi re-election as NGF Chairman.

Although, Rivers state governor won his re-election as NGF chairman in May 2013 with 19:16 votes to defeat Presidency and PDP anointed candidate Jonah Jang against all odds.

Akpabio with his cohorts later announced Jang as factional NGF chairman and led him to president Jonathan for recognition.

The polarization of NGF and other internal crisis in PDP led to formation of factional PDP called New PDP led by Atiku, 7 PDP governors, some senators and other aggrieved ruling party members.

The climax of the politicking  was when  5 PDP governors namely; Rotimi Amaechi, Abubukar Wammako, Muritala Nyako, AbdulFatai Ahmed and Rabiu Kwankwaso decamped to APC.

Initially I thought President is joking with his statement at Unity rally to reclaim the mandate of PDP from APC, but the impeachment of Adamawa state governor, Muritala Nyako by state house assembly two weeks ago shows that President Jonathan means his words.

Furthermore, Nasarawa state governor, Al-makura is also facing impeachment processing, while APC has alleged presidency of planning to impeach three more APC governor before 2015.

In just 6 months to the presidential election, only time would tell the number APC governors that will survive the current clampdown by presidency and PDP as a whole. Let’s cross our fingers as we await how many once jolly friends are sent parking from office.



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