Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako
By Chuks Okocha
There seems to be discordant tunes from the governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the choice of a new national chairman of the party expected to emerge at the March 24 national convention.
Behind the discord is the 2015 presidential election, THISDAY has learnt.
The PDP governors are sharply divided because of the aspirations of would-be presidential aspirants who want to have an advantage by ensuring that the next national chairman will back their aspirations.
While the South-south and South-east governors are throwing their weight behind any candidate anointed by President Goodluck Jonathan, the North-east is campaigning against “any interference”.
Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako is said to be playing a game in support of an aspirant from the North-east with the belief that President Jonathan will not seek re-election.
Already, the PDP North-east National Vice-Chairman, Paul Wamapana, and Nyako are mounting campaigns against any interference, insisting that the zone should be allowed to make an acceptable choice of the new national chairman of the party.
In the last governorship election in Adamawa State, former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar and Nyako reconciled their political differences. Atiku worked for Nyako’s victory in the poll.
Other governors, especially from the South, are said to be blaming Nyako for playing Atiku’s card ahead of the 2015 presidential election.
According to a governor from the South-south who spoke with THISDAY Sunday, “we remain loyal to the position of President Goodluck Jonathan in ensuring that a competent person emerges as the next national chairman of the PDP. We refuse to accept that because the office of the national chairman of the party is zoned to the North-east [then] it becomes the exclusive reserve of the zone to enthrone a national chairman on the party.
“We the PDP governors are aware of the game playing itself out between Governor Nyako and Wampana. It is expected that at the PDP governors meeting holding tonight (Sunday night), this matter would be thrashed out.”
He explained that it was for the purposes of ensuring that a competent hand was elected to lead the party that the PDP governors selected a five-man committee among themselves to advice on how the next national chairman should emerge.
According to the source, “the PDP governors did not allow Governor Nyako to become a member of the committee, because of our perception of his vested interest and we are not surprised at what is happening now. The office of the national chairman of the party is not an entirely North-east affair and it is not for Adamawa State to decide for us where the next party chairman will come from.”
THISDAY gathered that former chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum, Senator Bukola Saraki, is said to be rallying the governors of the North-central to support President Jonathan in ensuring that the North-east presents an acceptable national chairman to the president as the leader of the party.
It was gathered that the PDP governors are of the opinion that Jonathan should play a crucial role in the emergence of the next national chairman, as it would be “pleasant” to deny the president a hand in who becomes the next chairman.
The PDP governors’ meeting was on a two-point agenda on the five-man committee set up on the emergence of the next national chairman as well as how to approach the next meeting of March 14 on the resolution of the planned expansion of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party.
The governors are opposed to the recommendation of the PDP Constitution Review Committee (CRC) that the NEC should be expanded to accommodate a senator and a member of the House of Representatives from each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.