Indications emerged on Saturday that the Presidency is deeply angered by the late minute decision of Jigawa State Dr. Sule Lamido to run against the Dr. Jonathan as 2015 hots up. The President’s camp had relaxed believing that the Party ticket would be a walk over for the President.
There was expectation that no strong candidate will stand in the way of the President and that the main battle will be with the flag bearer of the All Progressive Party (APC). It came as a shock to the Presidency when the plan of Sule Lamido to run was confirmed. When the President’s camp heard the whiff of the Lamido’s decision, they initially waved it off as a rumour on which no sleep should be lost having previously laid to rest Lamido’s ambitions. The confirmation however sent shivers down the spine of all concerned.
According to information gathered by Saturday Vanguard, a reliable source said that Jonathan was shocked when Lamido stormed the Villa recently and told the President openly that he was keen on running in the next polls.
“At that point, the President was shocked to hear from Lamido that his presidential ambition should not be seen as mere rumour, as he had made up his mind to run against him,” a presidential source said.
“The way Lamido spoke with the President showed that he was not ready to back down from the race and the way he spoke about the matter was a bit unsettling to Mr. President, who had all along regarded him as one of the governors, who could not move against him,” the source further explained.
Lamido was said to have insisted on contesting despite attempts by the Presidency to smear his image and political clout by witch hunting members of his family. He told the President that he was hurt by the incessant allegations of financial embezzlement against his children. Allegations were also rife that Lamido got a gratification of 1.3 billion from two contractors who had recently completed projects worth 13billion.
However, a source within the EFCC denied the insinuations that the investigation was motivated by the President.
Let me tell you that since we arrested Lamido’s son at the airport over non-declaration of $40,000, our operatives have been investigating the family’s account and it is not at the instance of the Presidency as some people are alleging,” the EFCC official said
When confronted as to the truth of his rumoured ambition, Lamido declined to clear the air on the issue. There is yet the possibility that the Jigawa State Governor may opt instead for the Senate as former Governors often do.