Akpabio meets Obasanjo over Jonathan’s ambition

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Akwa Ibom State Governor, Godswill Akpabio, met behind closed doors in Abuja on Thursday to deliberate on the polarisation of the Peoples Democratic Party governors.

It was gathered that at the meeting, Akpabio also solicited Obasanjo’s support for President Goodluck Jonathan’s second term bid in 2015.

Akpabio, who chairs the PDP Governors’ Forum, was said to have used the opportunity of the meeting which was attended by a PDP chieftain, Otunba Oyewole Fasawe, to solicit for the intervention of the former President in ending the differences among the governors.

He was said to have told Obasanjo that the ongoing acrimony among the governors was not good for the image of the PDP and its determination to win the 2015 presidential election.

Since the conduct of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum election, which was won by Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, the PDP governors have continued to exchange hot words on the pages of newspapers.

While those who supported Amaechi’s opponent , Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, have continued to accuse those in the other camp of betrayal, supporters of the winner said it was victory for democracy.

The outcome of the election had resorted in the NGF having two secretariats.

Also, some of the governors, like Sule Lamido of Jigawa State, have warned that winning the PDP presidential primary by Jonathan would not be a guarantee that he would triumph during the presidential election.

Lamido, who is known to be very close to Obasanjo, is one of the four governors from the northern region that visited Amaechi in Port Harcourt on Tuesday. The others were Rabiu Kwankwaso (Kano); Babangida Aliyu (Niger); and Murtala Nyako (Adamawa).

At the meeting, Obasanjo was said to have listened with rapt attention when Akpabio solicited his intervention to smoothen the relationship between the President and the governors.

Though the former President was said not to have made any commitment, it was gathered that Akpabio was working towards bringing Obasanjo and Jonathan to come together and discuss.

Akpabio, who is also close to the former President, was said to have expressed his worry on how the former President had distanced himself from the activities of the PDP.

A source privy to the meeting which held at Hilton Hotel said, “It was a brief meeting, where the former President listened with rapt attention as Akpabio spoke. But unexpectedly, he did not make any commitment. But I think that President Jonathan would want to meet with the former President.”

Obasanjo was said to have immediately left for Zimbabwe after the meeting while Fasawe went to the headquarters of the PDP for a discussion with the party’s National Chairman, Dr. Bamanga Tukur.

Fasawe confirmed the meeting but declined to give details.

“But you know my relationship with Chief Obasanjo,” was the answer he gave when asked to speak on issues that were discussed at the Hilton Hotel meeting.

Meanwhile, members of the National Working Committee of the PDP have been asked not to turn Anambra State into an “oil well” during the forthcoming governorship election in state.

The PDP stakeholders in the state, who stated this at a meeting they had with the leadership of the party at its headquarters, called for transparency in the conduct of the primary.

The meeting was held as part of preparations for the November 16 governorship election in the state.

The stakeholders were drawn from groups within the party in the state.

Among those who spoke at the meeting were a former Governor of the state, Chief Chinwoke Mbadinuju; a former Chairman of Police Service Commission, Chief Simeon Okeke; a former Minister of Health, Prof. A.B.C. Nwosu; a governorship aspirant, Prince Nicolas Ukachukwu, and Mrs. Bridget Obi.

Obi said, “It is only in Anambra State that primaries are held in three different hotels and results would not be announced until they get to a police station.

“My plea is that, please don’t make Anambra your new oil well. Resist temptations in order to succeed.”

The meeting resolved that all members of the state PDP would work in unity to ensure victory for the party during the election.

They also said that all those who have cases in court should withdraw them failing which the party would take severe disciplinary measures against them.

While they said that no member of the party in the state shall institute any suit on any matter affecting the conduct of the forthcoming congresses and primary election for the November governorship election, they however warned that the PDP must not be partial during the polls.


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