A source close to President Goodluck Jonathan told SaharaReporters that the president has commissioned a group of political pundits to begin to counteract former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s reported secret plans to work for the emergence of a Northerner as president in 2015.
The source added that the Jonathan’s team is charged with strategizing on the best maneuvers to contain Mr. Obasanjo’s moves.
The source added that Mr. Jonathan did not yet have a full understanding of where Mr. Obasanjo stands in the crisis tearing apart the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but added that the president has decided not to take chances by ignoring the former president. The Northern members of the team set up by the president have been mandated to lead the first stage of Mr. Jonathan’s campaigns and consultations across the entire Northern states.
“Some of the president’s pundits have swung into action in the ‘core’ Northern states of Sokoto, Kano, Jigawa, Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina and northern Kaduna,” our source disclosed.
He added that Jerry Gana, Jonathan Silas Zwingina, Abdulkadir Kure, and Isaiah Balat were among those assigned to run the early stages of the president’s campaign in the Middle Belt. “Another group led by Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and Barrister Ahmed Gulak is working on the same mission in the North-East axis,” he said.
The source revealed that a key strategy of the president’s group was to seek the support of top Islamic and Christian clerics in the North. The well-funded presidential group is offering millions of naira to selected clerics in return for their political sympathy for Mr. Jonathan’s reelection campaign.
Our source stated that Mr. Jonathan had decided not to remain passive about Mr. Obasanjo’s antics. “Mr. President is aware of Chief Obasanjo’s previous antecedents. Look at [Mr. Obasanjo’s] close relationship with the arrowheads of the rebellion in the PDP. He is the one who made Sule Lamido, Aliyu Babangida of Niger and Wammako of Sokoto. It’s the same thing with Nyako in Adamawa State.””
The source added: “We gathered that Obasanjo is having serious problems with the IBB [Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida] and Abdulsalami circle that made it possible for him to be president in 1999. And we know that Chief Obasanjo wants to settle the Umaru Yar’Adua saga that led to the emergence of Jonathan. He thinks it is best to help install a Northern President in 2015. And he is also not happy with Jonathan’s style and some power blocks influencing the president.”