Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako
The scheming inside NWC Oyinlola: Party moves to apply for stay of execution
Chuks Okocha and Daji Sani
Sounding adamant, Adamawa State Governor Murtala Nyako Saturday addressed a mammoth rally in Yola, the state capital, where he told the Peoples Democratic Party stalwarts that Alhaji Mijinyaya Kugama, earlier removed from office, remains the authentic chairman of the party in the state.
"Kugama remains the authentic chairman of PDP. There are no factions in PDP," he said.
PDP stalwarts gathered at the Mahmud Ribadu Square in Yola to welcome Nyako back from Abuja.
The PDP governors had backed members of the National Working Committee to move against the party’s Chairman Bamanga Tukur and reverse the decision dissolving the state executives of the party led by Kugama.
The NWC cancelled the party congresses held by the party in the state and reinstated the state executives led by Kugama, dissolved last October, a move which forced President Goodluck Jonathan to set up a committee to resolve the crisis in the state.
Nyako urged party members in Adamawa to embrace peace in the interest of the state.
The governor spoke on the Presidency committee, disclosing that the panel would soon visit the state to resolve the party’s problem.
“I wish to use this opportunity to appreciate the Adamawa PDP, the crisis has exposed our weaknesses and our strengths. Therefore, I’m calling on the stakeholders of the party to put their political differences aside for the benefit of development in the state,” he said.
The PDP stalwarts were jubilating over the governor’s alleged victory in wrestling back the party structure in the state, believed to have been hijacked earlier by Tukur.
Nyako promised to carry everybody along and he reiterated his commitment to open his doors to every interested PDP member.
The governor said as the leader of the party in the state he would not allow politics of tribalism or religious sentiments to thrive in the party and called for the support of all party stakeholders so as to move the state forward.
Nyako said development could only thrive in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.
He called on those he described as Abuja politicians to work with those in the state to assist his government to work for Adamawa people.
At the rally, Chief Medan Teneke, hitherto known to be a political opponent of the governor made a surprise appearance.
Teneke said politics is all about serving the interest of the people.
He spoke of his reconciliation with the governor because of the progress recorded by the Nyako administration.
Kugama, the reinstated chairman of the party in the state, thanked Nyako and President Goodluck Jonathan for their intervention in the crisis. He, however, promised to take corrective measures where necessary.
In the meantime, it has emerged that though the PDP primary election to pick its presidential candidate ahead of 2015 still falls rather far in the future, governors elected on the party’s platform have adopted various strategies to push their post-governorship agendas.
THISDAY gathered that many Southern governors on their second and last constitutional terms are scheming to pair as running mates with their Northern colleagues believed to be nursing presidential ambitions.
The plan is to ensure that the respective Southern states support en bloc particular Northern presidential aspirants, preferably from among the PDP governors.
The scheming is happening amid grave polarisation of the PDP National Working Committee over permutations for the 2015 presidential election.
While it may no longer be news that Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido is interested in the presidency 2015, his colleagues from Niger, Kano, Kastina, and Bauchi states- Babangida Aliyu, Musa Kwankwaso, Ibrahim Shema and Isa Yuguda respectively, THISDAY learnt, are equally nursing presidential ambitions.
The calculations ahead of 2015 among the PDP governors with presidential ambitions have seriously affected relations within the PDP Governors Forum, as many of the governors now view one another with great suspicion.
Many of the governors were said to have become aware of the political permutations through personal discussions with their colleagues and informants to President Goodluck Jonathan.
It was in connection with the calculations that some governors – two from the Southern states, one from North-central, and another from the North-east – were said to have met Jonathan Wednesday night after the PDP Governors’ meeting in Abuja.
Specifically, THISDAY learnt, Akwa Ibom State Governor Godswill Akpabio is strategising to become the running mate to Vice-President Namadi Sambo, in case Jonathan does not run.
Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi is said to be working behind the scenes to become Lamido’s running mate.
Amaechi has variously denied he was nursing any such plan.
Despite the attempt to ensure that one of their own emerges PDP presidential candidate, a source told THISDAY that the PDP governors are seriously divided over the 2015 presidency due to their ambitions.
Yuguda is said to have a burning presidential aspiration, though, he maintains a close contact with the president to win his approval, in the hope that Jonathan would not contest in 2015.
Under the current calculations, it is being considered that the North-west and the North-central had severally produced the president or head of state of the country, either in military or civilian eras, but the North-east has produced only the First Republic Prime Minister, late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
Indications that the PDP governors are hatching plans ahead of 2015 emerged after their last meeting in Abuja.
Chairman of the governors’ forum, Amaechi, went into a closed-door meeting with the governors of Kano, Niger and Jigawa states immediately after the general meeting of the party’s governors.
The meeting, which was derided as another “caucus within the caucus” by one governor, did not go down well with some of the PDP governors.
A governor from one of the Northern states was overheard complaining to his colleagues about the meeting, saying, “What is the meaning of this? After our meeting, another meeting would be called with a select few. Why?”
The other governor quickly chipped in, “It is this madness of presidential ambition.”
The meeting between Amaechi, Lamido, Kwankwaso, Aliyu and National Secretary of PDP, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, was rather marathon.
As part of the multifarious divisions in the ranks of the PDP governors, THISDAY was reliably informed that some of the Northern governors are upset by Aliyu’s continued stay as chairman of the Northern States Governors Forum.
They are calling for his removal following accusations that the Niger State governor is using his chairmanship of the forum to further his presidential ambition.
The plot to remove him as chairman of NSGF is thick and from indications, a governor from the North-central, Aliyu’s zone, may be positioned to succeed him.
Meanwhile, the scheming for the 2015 presidential ticket of PDP is said to have eaten deep into the affairs of the party’s NWC.
The NWC members take positions based on the interests they represent.
For instance, it was gathered that the National Organising Secretary of the party, Alhaji Abubakar Mustapha, is the point man of the vice president while Oyinlola is believed to be that of the PDP governors.
Oyinlola was the Osun State governor until 2010 when a court judgement on the state governorship tussle removed him.
On Friday, Oyinlola was sacked as PDP National Secretary by a Federal High Court in Abuja following a suit filed by the Ogun State Chapter of the party led by Mr. Adebayo Dayo, in what is believed to be a consequence of the current infighting within the NWC.
However, Oyinlola’s fate now hangs in the balance as PDP has indicated it would file an application for stay of execution of Friday’s court order tomorrow.
PDP National Legal Adviser Victor Kwon said the party would on Monday file an application against the execution of the Federal High Court order of Justice Abdu Kafarati.
If the application is not granted, the implication is Deputy National Secretary Onwe S. Onwe will begin to act as national secretary.