Governors From Rivers, Delta, Akwa Ibom, Move To Hijack PDP From Jonathan

The governors, outgoing and surviving, want to chart a new course for the party with them in the driving seat.

But they are also disposed to bringing in as many of those frustrated out by President Jonathan as possible, sources familiar with the development told The Nation in Abuja yesterday.

Barring any alteration of their plan, the governors are expected to go full blast from May 29, hijacking the party’s affairs from President Jonathan whose tenure terminates on that day.

One of those the governors have listed to bring back to the party under the reformation plan is former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who shredded his PDP membership card in the run up to the just concluded presidential election, and publicly campaigned against the President’s return to office for what he termed below par performance.

Also likely to be brought in is the Second Republic Vice President Alex Ekwueme, who engineered the founding of the PDP during the late Gen Sani Abacha regime.

Sources said yesterday that Friday’s public castigation of President Jonathan by Governor Babangida Aliyu of Niger State for causing the fall of the PDP from power in the elections, was not a co-incidence.

Fresh woes may be on the way for President Goodluck Jonathan following his ill fated re-election bid.

Most of the governors elected on the platform of his party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are understood to be plotting to sideline him in their plan to rebuild the party.

Aliyu who doubles as Chairman, Northern Governors Forum said in Minna that President Jonathan and PDP’s defeat in the elections was caused largely by his failure to keep to the alleged single term agreement he reached with the North on assumption of office.

Besides, the reformation plan is believed to have informed a recent meeting in Dutse, Jigawa State attended by Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa, ex-Governor Orji Uzor Kalu and others.

“Some PDP governors, ex-governors and party leaders have started talking on how to revive the party and restore its glory as a democratic party,” said one source.

“It might involve doing away with the present crop of leaders in the party to restore the PDP to its pre-1999 era. Some of the present leaders of the party have been rated as ‘mere usurpers’ because they have destroyed it.

“One of the issues on the card is how to snatch the party from the grip of President Jonathan who brought in the present National Working Committee (NWC) which failed to sustain the party’s winning streak.

“We will not allow any individual to own the party anymore. Even if you are a former president, you have equal right as any member of the party. This is what has made the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa to survive over the years, including the apartheid period.”

Another source said: “The reformation of PDP might be pioneered by some of the founding fathers of the party like Chief Ekwueme and other members of the Board of Trustees of the party.

“It might involve bringing in on board former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, former national chairmen of the party, ex-governors, past elected leaders and others who can help to revitalise the party.

“It is going to be a total overhaul of the party from the grassroots because we realised that we have really lost our goodwill and focus as a national party.”

Alhaji Atiku has repeatedly said he has no intention whatsoever to dump the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the PDP.

He has turned down several overtures from the leadership of the PDP to jump ship including a recent personal visit to his Abuja residence by President Jonathan.

The Nation also gathered that pro-Jonathan forces in the PDP are not prepared to give up.

They are said to have drawn up a revival plan of their own with President Jonathan as the rallying point.

They are looking up to the incoming governors of Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers states to bankroll the PDP revival project.

Lagos State was in the original plan but that is no longer possible with the loss of the party’s governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje to the APC candidate, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode .

“Unless these rich states intervene in financing our party, we may not be able to fully recover,” a member of the NWC said.

He added: “You know we have never been in opposition, it will be difficult to survive.”

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