By Soni Daniel, Regional Editor, North
The clamour for the return of the Presidency to the North in 2015 appears to be heading for the rock, as two northern governors are said to be scheming to replace Vice President Namadi Sambo and assist President Goodluck Jonathan to retain power till 2019.
Investigations by Sunday Vanguard showed that the two governors, who will be rounding-off their second term in 2015, do not believe that the North would be able to wrestle power from Jonathan in the next elections and have, therefore, opted to team up with him rather than rock the boat, a position that might anger northern leaders who think otherwise.
One of the governors, who is from the North-west, is said to have been goaded by some Presidency officials to take several actions to undermine Sambo and portray him as weak and a political liability to the president. The governor is alleged to have connived with some political opponents of the vice president and sponsored “a survey” which showed that the North did not want Sambo to run as Jonathan’s VP in 2015 because of his perceived ‘weakness and lack of political clout’.
He is also said to have formed the habit of arriving late at events involving the vice president to draw attention to himself in the process. For instance, a source pointed out that during a recent recitation competition in Gusau, Zamfara State, presided over by the VP, the governor stormed the venue with his supporters almost an hour after Sambo and other dignitaries had been seated.
He allegedly acted same way during last week’s reconciliatory meeting of the PDP in Bauchi attended by the VP as he waited for Sambo and other guests to be seated before he sauntered into the hall with his praise-singing supporters, thereby distracting proceedings.
Sunday Vanguard learnt that apart from arriving late at the event, the governor also went there with mementos branded with his name and photographs apparently to draw support for his political ambition. The action reportedly se nt shockwaves to those who saw it as an undeclared campaign for the 2015 polls.
The other governor, from the North-west, as learnt by Sunday Vanguard, is working hard to get presidential endorsement to emerge as a consensus candidate for the chairmanship of the troubled Nigerian Governors’ Forum, NGF. A Presidency source said the governor now spends more time in Abuja than his state, a development that has become a source of anger to his people.
Although the governor had allegedly sought the support of his colleagues to emerge as a successor to Rotimi Amaechi as the NGF chairman, it was learnt that majority of northern governors, who met recently at Benue Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja, openly told him that they would not back his candidature for the NGF post.
Reacting to the development, the National President of the Arewa Youth Forum, Alhaji Gambo Gujungu, said northern youths were aware of subterranean moves by some politicians to ridicule Sambo, but warned that they would not allow any individual o r group to disgrace the vice president. Gujungu told Vanguard Vanguard, yesterday, that although the youths were not politicians, they would however want politicians to respect the office of the VP and accord Sambo due respect and support.
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