Saturday, August 31, 2013
President Jonathan Dozes Off At Convention, His Control Of PDP Significantly Weakened
mini-convention of the Peoples Democratic Party at Eagles Square in
Abuja where several governorselected on the party's ticket walked out
on him to join a political group led by former Vice President Abubakar
In all, eight governors, the latest being Governor UsmanSa'idu Nasamu
Dakingari of Kebbi, walked out on Mr. Jonathan's PDP, leaving the
visibly bewildered president in the cold. Other PDP governors who
decamped to the Atiku-led group included Chibuike Rotimi of Rivers
State, Sule Lamido of Jigawa, Babangida Aliyu of Niger, Rabiu
Kwankwaso of Kano, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto
and Muritala Nyako of Adamawa state.
An aide to one of the governors who left told SaharaReporters that
several other PDP governors had made a commitment to join their group
soon. "Within the next two to three weeks, the PDP will discover that
it is a party of Dr. Bamanga Tukur, President Jonathan and Governor
[Godswill] Akpabio," said the source.
An aide to President Jonathan told SaharaReporters this evening that
the president knew there was disaffection within the party, but was
not expecting the move made by Mr. Atiku and the group of governorswho
followed him. The aide said it was as if Governor Akpabio of Akwa Ibom
was the sole PDP governor who was solidly behind the president. But
the aide promisedthat both President Jonathan and the PDP were capable
of weathering the storm and rallying to win the 2015 elections.
"The truth is that Alhaji Atiku is a certified loser," said the
presidential aide. He added: "So, even though hedid what he did today
and is enjoying his laughter, we are going to have the last laugh. In
fact, you will see that Atiku is going to beg to be accepted back to
the PDP as he did before. Anybody who is following him is following
Meanwhile, our correspondent at the venue of the convention described
Mr. Jonathan as looking stunned by today's developments. The president
sat alone talking to himself and shaking his head several times
without anyone coming to his aid. Our correspondent noted that even
those who sat close to Mr. Jonathan, like the party's divisive
national chairman, Bamanga Tukur, and Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi
State did not utter a word of consolation to the forlorn-looking
President. Vice President Namadi Sambo simply looked away as the party
that brought them to power was being torn to pieces.
For the first time since the formation of the party, most hired
delegates left the Eagles Square even before voting started.
Many of the stands were near empty as a significant number of the
delegates followed their governors out ofthe venue of the convention
with Mr. Jonathan looking on helplessly.