Governor Sule Lamido
The talk about Jigawa State Governor Sule Lamido’s interest in contesting the 2015 presidential election is no fluke after all. The idea is gradually taking a life of its own. In some corners at Aso Rock Presidential Villa, the Jigawa governor is being referred to as the president with the small ‘p’ and President Jonathan with the big ‘p’. And already there seems to be mutual suspicion and a battle of wit between the President and the Jigawa governor. This played out starkly last week during President Jonathan’s trip to Malawi and Botswana. The President had invited two governors – Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole and Lamido – to travel with him.
Sources at the Villa said Lamido did not show up for the trip for some inexplicable reason, which I guess perhaps might be the discomfort that getting too cosy with the president he would soon challenge at the PDP primary would likely generate. But truth is it’s not too clear what actually transpired between Abuja and Dutse over that trip. One account, which I guess may have been dished out by Dutse in the emerging battle of wit, is that the governor failed to make the trip because the President asked Lamido to be part of the advance team as he (the President) was going with a smaller aircraft because the main presidential jet had been sent out for maintenance checks.
According to that account, the governor pointedly refused to go as part of the advance team and so didn’t show up, but that to the chagrin of Dutse the President who allegedly wanted Lamido to go as part of advance team accommodated Edo Governor Oshiomhole in his plane. Those who should know actually said the main presidential aircraft had gone for maintenance. Meanwhile, Governor Lamido was at the Villa once the President returned from the trip. And as President Jonathan sighted him, he jokingly said: “Jigawa Governor, the man who refused to travel with me.”