Governor Gabriel Suswam
Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Although the 2015 election is three years away, the countdown seems to have begun as some politicians are busy plotting strategies and engaging in permutations for the election.
But Benue State Governor Gabriel Suswam, however, said it was idiotic for anyone to begin to discuss 2015 now.
President Goodluck Jonathan remains non-commital about whether or not he is contesting in 2015. He had said those talking about 2015 were distracting him.
Speaking in an exclusive interview in the present edition of THISDAYstyle, the Benue State governor said talking about 2015 election now is “total nonsense.”
Suswam said: “I consider it total nonsense that just a year after elections, the talk of 2015 has arisen! It means they are not serious about working. Any serious-minded person should know that there is time for election and time for governance.
“This is a time for good governance without which we will remain stagnant. It’s idiotic for anyone to begin to discuss 2015 now.”
Suswam spoke on various issues, which included the major challenges of governance he is facing, problems confronting the state, his election as governor from being a House of Representatives member, his background, wife and children, entry into politics, role model in politics, etc. The interview is entitled “Gabriel Suswam, The Affable Governor of Benue State”.
Mr. Cyriacus Njoku, a PDP member, on March 20 sued President Jonathan at an Abuja High Court to try to stop him from seeking re-election in 2015. This followed Jonathan's delcaration that he was serving his first term. But Njoku said the President was serving a second term.
Judgement in the case has been fixed for October 18 by Justice Mudashiru Oniyangi.
Meanwhile, three serving governors, a serving senator and a former vice-president are believed to be warming up to vie for the presidency within PDP.
Also said to be interested in the race, based on his body language is President Jonathan, who will be contesting as an incumbent.
An impeccable source from Wadata Plaza, the party’s headquarters, told THISDAY that the three governors, senator and former vice-president had been talking about their intentions in hushed tones.
According to the source, the three governors are Sule Lamido of Jigawa State in the North-west zone, Babangida Aliyu of Niger State in the North-central zone and Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State from the North-east zone.
Also, in the list of those with presidential aspirations, according to the source, are Senator Bukola Saraki from the North-central zone and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar from the North-east zone.
THISDAY gathered that their aspirations are being pushed because of the belief that the Presidency must move up North by 2015.
Governor Lamido is being propped up by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, while Yuguda, Aliyu and Saraki are hinging their aspiration on their contacts within the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and PDP Governors’ Forum.
The understanding is that at the appointed time, the PDP governors and NGF, especially the Northern Nigeria Governors Forum, will speak with one voice on who they would support for the presidency.
The support of the governors is said to be critical because of their control of delegates to the presidential convention of the party.
It was gathered as the permutations for 2015 gathered momentum, some of the stakeholders in the North used the Lesser Hajj in Mecca to finetune their strategies.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo, PDP National Chairman Bamanga Tukur and Yuguda among others were in Mecca for the lesser, but it was not clear if they attended the various meetings of the Northern stakeholders in the Holy City.