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President Goodluck Jonathan forgot about Democracy Prior to PDP National Chairmanship Election

President Goodluck Jonathan showed his other side on Friday night to PDP governors opposed to his choice of Alhaji Bamanga Tukur as the new national chairman of the party.
He told them point blank at a meeting at the Presidential Villa that he would not brook any dissension from them or the other 10 candidates contesting the chairmanship with Tukur.
The governors, sources said, were as shocked as the candidates by the president’s action.
By the time he was through with them they all simply fell in line.
The governors, mainly from the North East zone and the chairmanship candidates-the former National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Prof. Rufai Alkali; ex-Minister of Commerce, Ambassador Idris Waziri (Taraba); ex-Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Shettima Mustapha; the National Secretary of the PDP, Musa Babayo; ex-Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Adamu Bello; a former National Chairman of the defunct Grassroots Democratic Movement, (GDM), Alhaji Gambo Lawan (Borno); ex-Governor Adamu Mu’azu of Bauchi State; and a former Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Abba Aji, a former Minister of FCT, Bunu Sheriff, and Ibrahim Birma- had insisted on going against Tukur.
A deal was finally sealed at about 2.30am after about three-hour of talks with the governors, party leaders, and chairmanship candidates.
A reliable source said the President wondered why the North-East governors would not let him have his way on Tukur when he had bowed to their wish to “control party machinery” in their states.
The source quoted the President as saying: “You have had your way, you should respect my position too for cohesion, unity and success of our party.”
He also detested the manner in which some governors had broken the agreement they had with him on consensus option at all levels.
Jonathan, who said he had no hidden agenda, warned the governors against promoting division within the party.
It was gathered that the threats from the President did the magic as the North-East governors took turn to explain that they were never out to undermine Jonathan or his administration.
The source said: “There was much pressure on Governor Danbaba Suntai, who also had a formidable candidate (Waziri). The Taraba State governor assured the President that the governors were ready to support the President’s choice.
“Also, Governors Isa Yuguda and Ibrahim Dankwanbo took turn to respect the wish of Jonathan.
“The last person to buy into the Bamanga Tukur project was Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa, Tukur’s state.
“At about 2.30am, it became clear that the governors could no longer have their way and Nyako had to join the fray. Their argument was that Tukur had contempt for the party he wanted to lead.
“They accused Tukur of having been lukewarm to the activities of PDP at all levels. But the President said with the leadership mantle, Tukur would change. At the end, it was agreed that the 10 contestants should be asked to step down for Tukur at the convention ground to prove that the party is united.”
Another source at the session said: “A lot of sentiments and intimidation, were brought into play by the President. We actually saw a different side of the President.
“It was apparent that any governor who chose to be defiant after persuasion would be daring the might of the Presidency. The cost of drawing a battle line with the presidency will be too much for any governor to bear.
“So, it was a kind of duress which was too hot to resist.” Another source at the meeting, who spoke in confidence, said right from the beginning of the meeting till the end, it was obvious that Jonathan was displeased with the revolt of the North-East governors on Wednesday.
The source said Jonathan’s vituperations left everyone bewildered at his attitude.
He said: “The President told us that ‘your words must be your bond anytime you enter into an agreement with anybody or party. I fulfilled my own bargain, you must fulfill your promise too. Go and ask these candidates to withdraw for Tukur.’
“The President said that the revolt of the North-East governors amounted to a carefully planned move to cause disaffection within the party and split PDP.
“While pleading with the governors to retrace their steps, he minced no words that the party would slug it out with any defiant. This stern measure cast a pall of silence on the meeting.
“Following the threats from the President, the North-East governors cringed and each of them rose to pledge loyalty to Jonathan and promised to back Tukur.
“There was no dissenting voice at all. The North-East governors were mandated to prevail on all their candidates before dawn to withdraw.”
It was learnt that immediately the meeting rose, Governor Yuguda led one of the candidates, Musa Babayo, to the residence of Bamanga Tukur at about 3.30am to announce the withdrawal of the candidate from Bauchi.
Surprised by the visit, Tukur embraced Yuguda and said: “I thank you for this honour, you surprised me.”
The source added: “For Yuguda, he had no choice than to abide by the directive of the President because party leaders were erroneously insinuating that he has presidential ambition in 2015.
“The President was so piqued by the Bauchi revolt to the extent that he placed a call to a respected businessman, who is a friend to Yuguda, to help call the governor to order.”
Apart from Yuguda, other North-East governors and party leaders conveyed the President’s message to their candidates too at about 5am.
An aide to one of the candidates added: “When the news of the withdrawal was broken to my principal, the party leader said: ‘The President might not be a Pharaoh, he is a boa and a python. It takes a python a very long time to destroy and a boa has no friend. Go and withdraw.’
Apart from the PDP governors, others at the all-night meeting were Vice-president Namadi Sambo, and a former Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih.
Culled from The Nation

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