2015: Ministers, PDP govs get marching order to deliver states


Ministers and governors of PDP-controlled states have a new assignment from the Presidency in the run-up to next month’s elections: deliver  their states to the party and President Goodluck Jonathan.

To aid them in the assignment  is a massive war chest, much of it from the over  N21billion realised at the recent fund raising by the PDP.

This followed feelers from different parts of the country,  suggesting  a groundswell of support for the presidential  candidate of the All Progressives Congress  (APC), General Muhammadu Buhari, especially  in the North and most parts of the South-West.

There are also concerns at the Presidency about the lack of enthusiasm  to the Jonathan re-election project by some PDP stalwarts.

Leaders of the APC  are due to meet either on Monday or Tuesday to ratify the   party’s presidential campaign team.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the Presidency is uncomfortable that the PDP has failed to make appreciable  inroads into the North and the South-West barely 44 days to the presidential election.

Although Vice-President Namadi Sambo has already visited several Northern states on reconciliation shuttles , it was learnt that the PDP is still having challenges in Sokoto, Kaduna, Kebbi, Borno, Yobe,  Kano, Zamfara, Bauchi, Adamawa, Oyo, Ondo,  Kwara, Nasarawa, Benue states

A  party source familiar with the development   spoke of  anxiety in the Presidency over some states in the North and some parts of the South-West.

“The reality is that the Presidency and the PDP have accepted the reality that a stiff contest is imminent between the ruling party and the opposition. The permutations so far do not add up yet.

“This is why the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Chief Tony Anenih, is being brought on board as the National Campaign Adviser to avail the Presidential Campaign Organization his experience.

“If it means negotiating to win some states in the North, the Presidency and the PDP are ready to do that,” the source said.

The Deputy National Chairman (North) of the APC, Sen. Shuaibu Lawal, said: “My simple reaction is that whatever outreach the PDP and the Presidency make, they will not get the support of the people of the North and Northern Emirs.

“Everyone in the North is tired of maladministration of the PDP. This is why these emirs are spearheading the desire for change in the country. Whatever they offer, they cannot get the support of these emirs.”

It was  gathered  that the signs  of a tight presidential race forced the Presidency to  ask ministers and governors to deliver their states for Jonathan and the PDP.

Another source added: “Very soon, most of the ministers will relocate to their states to rev up the campaign through  a heavy  war chest. They are under intense pressure to deliver their states.

“The same heat was put on them when most ministers were compelled to contribute to the rallies of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) in all the six geopolitical zones in the country.

“All the governors have been advised to lead the campaign in the PDP-controlled states. Ministers will play pivotal campaign roles in states under the opposition. You can see why some governors have become confused by embarking on the  mass purchase of Permanent Voter  Cards (PVCs) for electoral mischief.”

Meanwhile, the APC will on Monday or Tuesday ratify the list of members its Presidential Campaign Committee at a session in Abuja.

It was gathered that the party’s leadership has already invited some stalwarts of the APC for a meeting on the list.

A former Minister of Communication, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who is also an ex-National Chairman of the PDP, is the APC National Campaign Adviser.

A leader of the APC said: “We are raising a crack team which would reflect all the tendencies in the party and earn us victory at the poll in February.

“Hopefully by Monday or Tuesday, we should be done with the campaign team. We had spent the past few weeks consulting and getting input from our leaders.”