A major crisis on Saturday hit the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as seven governors and former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar formed a faction of the party at the national level.
The governors, who are members of the new faction, include Aliyu Wamakko (Sokoto); Babangida Aliyu (Niger); Rabiu Kwankwanso (Kano); Muritala Nyako (Adamawa); Abdulfatah Ahmed (Kwara); Sule Lamido (Jigawa) and Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers)
Also in the faction are an acting National Chairman, Kawu Baraje; a suspended National Secretary, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola and a former National Deputy National Chairman, Dr. Sam Jaja.
The press conference at the Sheu Yar’Adua Centre Abuja, where the faction announced its emergence, was attended by many members of the national and state houses assembly.
The National Chairman of the faction, Baraje, said the leaders of the party came together to rescue it from undemocratic tendencies of “the former national chairman,” Bamanga Tukur.
He said, “We address you today as leaders of the PDP, who are worried by the increasing repression, restrictions of freedom of association, arbitrary suspension of members and other such violations of democratic principles by a faction of our party led by Tukur.”
He said they had done everything humanly possible to bring to the attention of critical stakeholders within the party to the dangers inherent in the course being charted by that leadership (Tukur),
The factional chairman said, “It has become very clear that the desperate permutations towards 2015 general elections have blinded certain people from the consequences of their actions.
“Not only has the constitution of the party been serially violated by Alhaji Tukur and fellow travelers, all the organs of the party have been rendered virtually ineffectual by a few people who act as though above the law.”
Baraje noted that the Presidency had been encouraging the Tukur- led faction.
“Unfortunately, it is obvious that that they get encouragement from the presidency whose old calculations are geared towards shutting out any real or imagined opposition ahead of the party’s presidential primaries for the 2015 elections.”
He said as leaders of the party, they considered it a sacred responsibility to save the PDP from the antics of a few desperadoes who had no democratic temperament and were bent on hijacking the party for selfish ends.
Baraje listed the violations of the Tukur-led faction as the changing of the date of the party’s convention without the approval of the National Executive Committee.
He said the PDP NEC at its last meeting approved July20, 2013 for the conduct of a special national convention.
The factional chairman said that date was changed to August 31 without reverting to NEC (the only authority vested with such powers) by a few people, apparently acting on the authority of the presidency.
He added, “Notwithstanding the fact that INEC had noted that the PDP congresses in nine states were not presently conducted, the illegal delegates from such states are being paraded at the so-called convention being held today (Saturday) in a cynical attempt to circumvent the law an further bring the name of the party to disrepute.
“In gross violation of the PDP constitution, which stipulates that the NEC meeting must hold at least once in a quarter, Tukur and a few people have been running the party like a personal fiefdom without recourse to that important decision-making organ of the party.
“The NEC of the party accepted the resignation of the former members of the NWC whose offices were affected by INEC observations based principally on the agreement that the affected officers would be returned to their respective offices at the convention.”
He said in spite of the NEC decision, the positions of the former officers had been given to “some Yes-men within the party.”
Baraje said in spite of INEC’s insistence that Senator Any Uba was the duly elected candidate of the party in Anambra State; the Bamanga Tukur-led executives announced the suspension of Uba and some other members close to him in defiance of subsisting court orders.
He also faulted the dismissal of a former National Chairman, Mr. Sam Jaja, by the Rivers State chapter of the party with the alleged connivance of the Tukur leadership.
He also cited the suspension of Amaechi and Wamakko.
He said, “Even when the illegal suspension of Sokoto State governor has been lifted, the Rivers governor remains purportedly suspended for no just cause.”
Baraje also said the dissolution of the Adamawa State chapter of the party was a clear abuse of power by Tukur, thus causing confusion in his home state.
The factional chairman said, “Given the foregoing, it is very clear that the Tukur leadership cannot guarantee for our millions of party members democracy anchored on free choice and the rule of law.
“We have therefore taken it upon ourselves to rescue the party from their dictatorial leadership.”
“It is indeed noteworthy that from 1999 to date, Nigerians have constantly voted the presidential candidates presented by our great party but not only does such trust come with enormous responsibility, we recognise that we cannot continue to take the people for granted.
“From now, the new leadership of the party under us will strive to build a fairer as well as a more transparent and accountable PDP that will put the interest of members and indeed all the people of Nigeria above that of one single individual.
“For all the members of our great party who may have become disillusioned by the anti-democratic tendencies of the Tukur leadership, there is a new lease of life in the horizon.
“It s a new day for the Peoples Democratic Party. As we take over the leadership of the PDP, our immediate priority is to revive the culture of robust debate of all contending issues while providing a level-playing field for all our members.”
In a swift reaction, Tukur promised that the party would deal with the governors at the appropriate time.
Tukur told journalists at the Eagle Square, that the governors were planning to defect to another party.
He said, “The PDP does not recognise any parallel party. Those who staged the walkout are all self-seeking and treacherous individuals pursuing neither regional nor religious agenda except their own agenda, except their own personal interest.
“Their attempt to create parallel party is illegal, unlawful as there are no crises within the PDP whatsoever.
“They were all active participants in the setting up of this convention.
“And many of them were with the President and rode with him to the convention venue and joined them in the salutation of all the delegates including their state delegates.”
“The PDP is studying the situation as it unfolds and will deal decisively as the situation warrants.
“It is obvious that they are creating crisis where there is none to give the impression that the party is divided. This in their thinking will allow them persuade loyal members of the National Assembly to cross carpet with them. We will resist this.”
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Movement has saluted what it described as the bravery and statesmanship of the dissenting delegates of the PDP.
The National Chairman of PDM, Mr. Bashir Ibrahim, who spoke through his Media Advisor, Alaba Yusuf, said, “We appreciate their bold, brave and patriotic stand of these delegates for refusing to participate in an election which they knew gave no even playing ground to all stakeholders.’’
Adding more salt to a festering sore, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Executive Governor of Rivers State has now be suspended by his ruling party - Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Loading to the headache and burden of Governor Amaechi was his bad relationship with the presidency and his squabble with Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) on the chairmanship of the group. But these were not the loads that break the camel's back.
Rather he was suspended for his "refusal to obey the lawful directive of the Rivers State Executive Committee to rescind his decision dissolving the elected Executive Council of Obiokpor Local Government Area of Rivers State."
A communique was later released at the end of an emergency meeting called by PDP -National Working Committee, NWC, and was appendly signed and cleared by National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh.
The communique from PDP,National Working Committee :
The National Working Committee at its emergency meeting on Monday, 27 May, 2013 considered the petition submitted by the PDP Rivers Executive Committee against His Excellency, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Executive Governor of Rivers State for violating Articles 58 1 (b), (c), (h) and (m) of the PDP Constitution following his refusal to obey the lawful directive of the Rivers State Executive Committee to rescind his decision dissolving the elected Executive Council of Obiokpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The National Working Committee after preliminary hearing, in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 57 (3), 59 (3), 59 (5) and 29 (2.b), hereby suspends the Executive Governor of River State, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as a member of the PDP and refers the matter to the appropriate disciplinary committee of the Party.
This is in furtherance of the determination of the leadership of the Party to enforce discipline at all levels within the Party.
Gov. Amaech (L), Gov. Akpabio (R)
"Still struggling to come to terms with the reality of the defeat of their candidate by Governor Rotimi Amaechi, aggrieved governors Saturday distanced themselves from his victory, claiming that he ceased to be their leader on Friday when his tenure ended.
The splinter NGF, led by Governor Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom and chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, presented Governor Jonah Jang as the new Chairman of the NGF.
They also announced plans to set up a different secretariat for their meetings so as to disconnect from the Rivers State Governor’s Lodge, which had been serving as their meeting point in the past two years.
Eighteen governors, who are sympathetic to President Jonathan and his anointed candidate, Jang, converged on the Benue State Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro and tried to discredit the electoral process that threw up Amaechi.
The governors who are opposed to Amaechi’s victory are: Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom, Jonah Jang of Plateau, Idris Wada of Kogi, Gabriel Suswam of Benue, Sullivan Chime of Enugu, Martin Elechi of Ebonyi, Theodore Orji of Abia, Peter Obi of Anambra and Isa Yuguda of Bauchi.
others are: Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo, Ibrahim Shema of Katsina, Mukhtar Yero of Kaduna, Garba Umar of Taraba, Ahmed Abdulfatah of Kwara, Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State, Liyel Imoke of Cross River, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa and Gombe Deputy Governor, Thaanod Rubainu." - Soni Daniel, Vanguard.
Welcome to Wadata Plaza, PDP headquarter, an Amphitheater of Dreams for PDP chairmen. For PDP chairmen the seat remains the most unsettled and uncertain. Wadata Plaza remains a nightmare for it's would be occupants.
Since the formation of PDP in 1998, the seat has become a nightmare, the list of chairmen that has occupied the seat were either booted out or disgraced with some even being arraign for embezzlement and fraud. Except it's first chairman, Chief Solomon Lar and Chief Audu Ogbeh, subsequent chairmen that follows ended up being disgraced out of the PDP chairman seat.
The impending exit of Chairman Bamanga Tukur is another endless uncertainties that has beclouded PDP since it's formation and later hijacked by money bags, neophytes, and corrupt minded politicians is also a manifestation of PPDP lacked of internal democracy mechanism, how can constant changing of it's chairman translate into good governance, with PDP at the helm of Nigeria affairs?
Wadata Plaza, PDP headquarter remains a slippery place. The seat is bedeviled with corruption, ineptitude and greed. Those who tasted the bitter pill at Wadata Plaza, includes; Okwesilieze Nwodo, Barnabas Gemade, Dr Haliru Mohammed, Vincent Ogbuluafor and the out-going chairman, Bamanga
Tukur. According to sources Bamanga Tukur did not actually won the PDP primaries, the seat ought have been occupied by Alhaji Sanni Toro, it was learn President Goodluck Jonathan has to pressurized Alhaji Sanni Toro to step down for Alhaji Bamanga Tukur and this was later felt by the uneasy calm that pervades Alhaji Bamanga Tukur's reign as PDP chairman, again the manifestations of PDP lacked of internal democracy mechanism.
Among the list of PDP chairmen, Chief Audu Ogbeh remains the fiercest and blunt having confronted the Owu born prince, Chief OIusegun Obasanjo [eru o bodo] with ideas on how best to govern, the Owu born prince was dumbfounded being challenge, this led to Chief Audu Ogbeh's unceremonious resignation as PDP chairman.
The office has become slippery, consuming it's occupants in fist of political maneuverings, bicker-rings and power play. Wadata Plaza, PDP headquarter is an Amphitheater of Dreams for it's would be occupants, so comical that it's occupant begin to plan for his exit mmediately he takes charge.
Wadata Plaza: Amphitheater Of Dreams!
Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi.
Cells:+234  701-224-8573.
+234  816-950-3218.
There is this Yoruba idiom that says 'Akuko Ko; which literally translates that ' a cock has crows', which means an influential personality has passed away. Can Nigerians really take it and relate it to the current happenings within the PDP hierarchy?
If the current news and events emanating from Wadata Plaza, PDP headquarters is anything to go by then surely 'cock has indeed crow', from chair Bamanga Tukur uneasiness, to PDP NWC impending dissolution, Chief Tony Anenih unpopular posture, factions within PDP governors, president Jonathan's helplessness, ministers and NASS members at loggerheads, then we are surely witnessing PDP cortege by 2015. The once mighty PDP armada is gradually sinking and caving in to APC invading battleships.
With Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu's APC impressive and strong followings, PDP armada is gradually sinking and the cock has crow! The current PDP travails could be traced to it's long years of failure to adhere to internal democracy, policy of kill and divide, come chop and who will arrest me? APC should learn from these by allowing effective internal democracy and neither imposing unpopular candidates on the electorates nor selling elective posts to the highest bidder.
The reverberation effect of PDP's ineptitude is been felt across all sectors and segment of Nigeria; unemployment, corruption, insecurity, crude oil thefts and dearth of infrastructures. Things are no longer at ease and the center can no longer hold for PDP.. This is the end of PDP as one see the beginning and emergence of Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu's APC, some aggrieved PDP members are sure of defecting to APC as situations unfolds.
PDP superfluous projections of ruling Nigeria for fifty years will be by 2015 confined to a dustbin of failed prediction. The tacit endorsement of Chief Tony Anenih by president Goodluck Jonathan over Olusegun Obasanjo [eru o bodo] is indeed an obsequies for PDP.. The entire South West PDP caucus and congresses is still firmly in the hands of Olusegun Obaanjo [eru o bodo] and with the alleged marginalization of the South West by president Jonathan administration and Olusegun Obasanjo [eru o bodo] tireless effort [do or die and captured] in his TSUNAMI [s]elections of 2007 to plant late Umaru Musa Yaradua at the helm of Nigeria affairs and with the recent misunderstandings between the president Jonathan and OBJ, PDP should forget the entire South West come 2015.
Many who knows Olusegun Obasanjo [eru o bodo] can testify to his unforgiven spirit and posture, he once seize Lagos State allocation for the then governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu for creating additional local government councils in Lagos State. In his self titled book; 'This Animal Called Man' is a testimony to these facts. The recent formation of PDP governors forum [to clip Rivers State governor Rotimi Amechi's over bearing influence and possibly nail his vice-presidential ambition] is already crumbling like pack of cards, this is another ominous sign of greater problems for PDP as a party close in for 2015 elections, is this a tell tale sign?
I dont see PDP making inroads in the South West comes 2015, North Central has Niger State governor, Dr Babangida Muazu Aliyu in firm control, North West is ready to align with Muhammadu Buhari, North East can go either way for both PDP or APC, South -South undecided, South East; Nigeria political footstool will go for APC/PDP.
PDP formed by Nigerians best politicians and progressives, later hijacked by moneybags and later turned to personal fiefdom, what will the G18 and later G32 founding members of PDP be thinking now, seeing their visions and dreams gradually slipping to extinction?
PDP armada is SINKING!
Taiwo Lawrence Adeyemi.
Cells:+234  812-148-2077.
+234  816-950-3218.
"Mr President, we are here because we believe in what I call Nigerian dream. Mr President, we from the South West we were the first to collectively stick out our head to say this is the way, and what is the way? "The way of Goodluck Jonathan for Nigeria. A Nigerian dream entails collective aspiration, collective hope, collective objective, collective target and collective fulfilment . It also entails our communality. And what is our communality in Nigeria? What is the communality between me and my brother from Sokoto? What is the communality between me and even my brother from Yenagoa? What is the Communality between me and my brother from Maiduguri? What is the communality between me and my brother from Badagry or even from Ekiti? It is Nigerian identity. Nigerian Identity! That is our communality.
"If you say the communality is that we belong to the human race, so do the Europeans, so the Americans, so the Asians. But we are one communality, one identity, Nigerian identity. If we have a common identity, then we can have a common Nigerian dream.
For me I see a Nigeria dream of land of unity in diversity. For me, I see the Nigerian dream in equal opportunities for all Nigerians; land of freedom and choices; land of prosperity, fairness, peace and justice; land of love, care, harmony among its people; land respected internationally and playing its rightful role within the comity of nations and land where no one is oppressed, discriminated against, enslaved or disadvantaged.
"For instance, let me go to an element of one of the aspects of the dream. When I was a young man, leaving secondary school, there was only one University in Nigeria. The opportunity for young men to go to university in Nigeria was then limited. Today there are 117 Universities in Nigeria expanded and enhanced opportunities. We have to match that with opportunity to access to employment and to good living standard. Your excellencies, this I believe is attainable and as a political party we in PDP have dreams. "We have set about actualizing our Nigerian dream. You will see this in the formation of PDP. The history of the PDP speaks for its self. The constitution of PDP, the manifesto of our party and the performance of our party so far. We have set our hands on the plough and there is no looking back for PDP.
"Drawing from our national Constitution which upholds Federal Character, we are the only political party that enshrines Federal Character in our Constitution through zoning and rotation.
And we should be proud of that. For us and for the foreseeable future that remains sacrosanct, I am an apostle of Federal Character under Murtala/Obasanjo administration and I cannot now preach anything different. The accident of history of the recent past must be understood for what it is, an unexpected situation and PDP as a party has addressed that issue.
Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo State, President Goodluck Johnathan, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, vice President Nnamdi Sambo and PDP Ag. National Chairman, Alhaji Bello Mohammed at the PDP South West Rally in Ibadan.
"At the last meeting of BoT of our party last Saturday, the issue was tabled by the president as it was raised by three distinguished members of our party a day before that BoT meeting with the President. I was mandated to take up the position of the party with the three distinguished members of our party who raised the issue. They are General Ibrahim Babangida, General Aliyu Muhammed and Alhaji Abubakar Atiku.
The following day, that was last Sunday, I took up the matter with General Ibrahim Babangida who expressed to me that the issue is not the accident of history but rather it is the issue of perception in some quarter that Federal Character, zoning and rotation as established and practiced by PDP have been jettisoned and permanently cancelled.
"I on behalf of the BoT allay the fear and I promised a public report while he briefs the other two party members with whom we saw the president on the eve of the BoT meeting.
"What am I saying? What am saying simply is that Federal Character, zoning and rotation in our party is alive and kicking. I personally see the practice of Federal Character, zoning and rotation of key political and governmental positions and offices by the PDP, if it will continue to be the ruling party in Nigeria, I see that position beyond my life time. It will only happen when unity, stability and democracy have been established with full confidence and trust by every body in the system and within the polity and among the participants for factors of competence, performance and track record to become predominant. PDP should be praised for being the only party that enshrined Federal Character, zoning and rotation in its constitution and also practicing it.
"PDP has brought stability and substantial predictability to the polity and to the system. I do not know who will be the President of Nigeria after Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. That is in the hand of God. But with the PDP policy and practice, I can reasonably guess from where in terms of section of the country from where the successor to President Goodluck Jonathan will come and no internal democracy or competition will be hereby destroyed.
"The recent resort to sentiments and emotions of religion and regionalism is self serving, unpatriotic and mischievous to say the least. It is also playing on dangerous emotive issues that ignite uncontrollable passion and can destabilize if not destroy our country. It is oblivious of the sacrifices others have made in the past for unity stability and democracy in Nigeria in giving out their lives, shedding their blood and in going to prison. I personally have done two out of these three sacrifices and I am ready to do the third if it will serve the best interest of Nigerian dream.
"Let me appeal to those who have embarked on those dangerous roles to desist from taking us on a perishable journey. A common identity as Nigerians there is more that binds us than separate us.
"I am a Nigerian born a Yoruba man and I am proud of those identities, as they are for me complimentary. Our duties, responsibilities and obligations to our country and citizens and indeed as leaders must go side by side in our likes and demands. There must be certain values and virtues that would go concomitantly with our dream.
"Thomas Payne said and I quote " my country is a world." For me my country I hold dear. On two occasions I have had the opportunity, thanks to God and thanks to the people of Nigeria, to work for my successors in the government of Nigeria. On both occasions, I never took the easy and destabilizing route of ethnic, regional or religious consideration rather I took the enduring route of national, uniting and stabilizing route. I worked for both President Shagari and President Yar'Adua to succeed me. Not just because they are Muslims, northerners or Hausa /Fulani, but because they could strengthen the unity, stability and democracy of Nigeria. We of course, with all the displeasure of ethnic chauvinists for doing what is right for our country, that is in the nature of the burden of leadership. A leader must lead no matter whose ox is gored.
"In the present circumstance, let me reiterate what I have said on a number of occasions, electing Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in his own right and on its own merit which is there to be seen as the President of Nigeria will enhance and strengthen our unity, stability and democracy and it will lead us towards achievement of the Nigerian dream.
"We are impressed with the report that Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has already taken a unique and unprecedented step of declaring that he would only want to be a one term President. If so whether he knows it or not, that is a sacrifice and it is statesmanly. Rather than vilify him and pull him down, we as a party should applaud and commend him and Nigerians should reward and venerate him. He has taken the first good step, let us encourage him to take more good steps to achieve what we need to achieve for this country by voting for him in landslide victory as the first elected president of Nigeria on basis of our common Nigerian identity and for the purpose of actualizing the Nigerian dream. God bless you all."
FORMER president and chairman, Board of Trustees, BoT, of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo speaking in Abuja during the campaign 2011 grand finale of the President Jonathan/ Vice -President Namadi Sambo ticket. Theme of the speech was on the calling on Nigerians to vote the PDP presidential ticket, Nigerian dream and zoning.
The Peoples Democratic Party will hold its historic presidential primaries next Thursday in Abuja, during which the two leading contenders for the party's ticket will engage in an unprecedented slugfest as they try to secure the votes of the delegates at the national convention. NDUKA NWOSU and YEMI ADEBOWALE highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the chief antagonists at the contest â€“ President Goodluck Jonathan and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as they prepare for the battle of their lives
Dr Goodluck Jonathan
President Goodluck Jonathan, 53, was born in Otueke, in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State to a family of canoe makers. He holds a B.Sc. degree in Zoology, an M.Sc. degree in Hydrobiology and Fisheries Biology and a Ph.D. degree in Zoology from the University of Port Harcourt. After obtaining his degree, he like Atiku, worked briefly with the Customs as a Preventive Officer and later as an education inspector, lecturer, and environmental-protection officer, With the creation of the Oil minerals Producing Areas Development Commission, OMPADEC, in October 1992, Dr. Jonathan was called to serve as Assistant Director, Ecology, in March 1993 in the Directorate of Environmental Protection Sub-Department of the Commission. He performed creditably in that capacity, until he voluntarily left the services of the Commission in 1998.
Not much was known of him until in 1998 when he joined the People's Democratic Party (PDP), and was picked as a running mate to the party's gubernatorial standard bearer in Balysea State, Chief Diepreye Alamieysegha, who often referred to him as his brother.
He was Bayelsa State's deputy governor between 1999 and 2006. He later served as governor of the state between 2006-2007 after the impeachment of the then governor Diepreye Alameseigha. He emerged vice president in 2007 and later became president in May 2007 after the death of Umaru Yarâ€™Adua. If elected president, Jonathan has promised to, amongst others, consolidate a proactive peace and security programme for the country, as well as a private sector-led and government-supported/regulated electric power development, deepen and coordinate an accelerated, transparent Niger Delta development programme; provide quality education and implement major reforms in agriculture through innovative financing and land ownership.
As the sitting President, Goodluck Jonathan enjoys the advantage of the numerous presidential powers at his disposal. He approves the citing of projects and key appointments in ministries, departments and agencies. He can strike voting deals with these appointees. For example, he could use his power to cite federal projects in different parts of the country giving him a competitive edge. He recently approved the establishment of federal universities in six states across the six geo-political zones. Many saw this as a political master-stroke.
He can easily strike voting deals with state governors and delegates that want such federal projects in their areas. President Jonathan also controls ministries, numerous federal departments and agencies. If he deploys them fully, it would give him considerable advantage over his opponents at the primaries. Heads of such federal departments and agencies would be happy to work for the presidentâ€™s victory even without being told to do so, in order to retain their positions. Heads of wealthy agencies, could, for example, indirectly mobilise funds for the presidentâ€™s aspiration through contractors and presidential waivers. A case in point was the recent waiver granted by the Ministry of Finance to a non-rice importer to import 500,000 metric tonnes of rice into the country. The savings generated from the project amounting to about N20 billion is believed to have been diverted to the Jonathan campaign as a slush fund. Security agencies such as the police and State Security Service can also be subtly used to Jonathanâ€™s advantage.
Jonathan has in the last eight months shown that he is a man that could be trusted by Nigerians. He has been going about his job in a simple and humble manner, devoid of scandals. This is expected to work to his advantage at the primary. Numerous examples of his trustworthiness abound. During the days of late President Umaru Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s sickness, Jonathan remained loyal to the end despite pressure to pull the rug from Yarâ€™Aduaâ€™s feet. His interaction with former United States envoy, Robin Sanders on the crisis recently leaked by WeakiLeaks, further confirms Jonathanâ€™s honesty and credibility.
Katsina State Governor Ibrahim Shema in a recent interview reiterated that Jonathan was an honest and trustworthy person as seen by his loyalty to late Yarâ€™Adua. Again, when he became the substantive president in May, Jonathan promised to overhaul INEC and engage a credible and non-partisan chairman. This, he did with the appointment of Attahiru Jega, seen by many as capable of conducting credible polls in Nigeria. Several government departments and agencies without substantive boards/management staff have been reconstituted as promised by Jonathan. The reform of the power sector is also back on track as promised with the reconstitution of the board of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission.
At Home with Governors
Jonathan is familiar with the current set of PDP governors who are expected to lead state delegates to the presidential primary. No doubt, the governors equally have confidence in him. This must have accounted for his endorsement by 22 of the 27 PDP governors. This is expected to work to his advantage next week.
Considerable War Chest
Money will definitely not be a problem to the Jonathan campaign organisation at the presidential primary. His massive media campaign testifies to this. Jonathan will be attending the primary with a huge war chest. His backing by numerous business moguls such as Mike Adenuga, the Vaswani brothers, Aliko Dangote, Femi Otedola, Jimoh Ibrahim, Noel Ojei, Jide Omokore and Samad Rabiu is a testimony that cash will not be a problem. This does not include several other pro-Jonathan groups that have raised funds for his campaign. Indeed, he now has an excess of it. During a recent fund-raising dinner in Abuja, over one billion naira was raised within minutes. It could have been more, but for the need not to breach the electoral law limiting contributions to candidates. Of course, business moguls are believed to be contributing billions of naira under the radar to the campaign of Jonathan.
Support for Jonathan from the South-south, South-east, North-central, South-west, and to some extent, the North-west, has been massive and unalloyed. He will be attending the primary with largely united zones behind him. Majority of the governors in the region are solidly behind him and have openly shown this. This is expected to be a plus at the primary.
Perceived as Weak and Indecisive
Jonathan is perceived as a weak and indecisive leader by some Nigerians and this may work against him at the primary. Critics readily point to his inability to deal with the cabal that held the nation to ransom during the Yar'Adua sickness saga. His failure to nip in the bud the strike by the NLC over the minimum wage demand was a serious minus for him; his inability to deal with electricity workersâ€™ intransigence over power reform; and the insecurity in the country as shown by persistent terrorist attacks are also cited by critics as evidence of his weakness.
The Rotation Question
Some PDP members argue that Jonathan is not qualified to contest because of the rotation policy of the party. They say a candidate from the north ought to complete the second four-year term of the north before power shifts to the South. Atiku, Jonathanâ€™s key opponent in the primary, has latched on to this. They portray him as a man without regard for agreements. Perhaps, some delegates may be swayed by this argument.
Eight months on, there are still no significant signs of economic recovery in the country. Many hold Jonathan responsible for this and this can work against him at the primary. They think his economic managers, barring the Central Bank governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, are incompetent. Industries are still operating miles below installed capacity; electricity supply is still erratic while roads across the nation are still in shambles. However, some others say nine months is too short a period to judge the president on the economy.
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
A retired Customs officer, consummate politician, and dogged fighter, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar was one of the followers of the late General Shehu Yar'Adua, founder of the Patriotic Front (PF), and was very actively involved in the formation of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) through the Peoples Democratic Movement led by Yarâ€™Adua. Using the same PDM structures, Atiku with a number of notable individuals, was a critical arrowhead in the formation of the Peoples Democratic Party.
During the Jos Convention in 1993, his mentor Yar'Adua asked him and Babagana Kingibe to step down for Alhaji Moshood Abiola, the eventual flag bearer of the SDP. All this happened while Atiku was learning the ropes which in 1998 positioned him as a leading light of the PDP, providing the PDM structure for the presidential campaign of the PDP flag bearer retired General Olusegun Obasanjo. He was waiting to be sworn in as the governor of Adamawa State when President-elect Obasanjo chose him as his running mate.
He ended his tenure as vice president fighting his boss who had lost confidence in him for allegedly conspiring with the state governors to deny him his second term bid. The protracted fight saw him losing relevance as vice president, being hounded out of the PDP, and spending millions at the courts to contest the 2007 presidential election on the platform of the rival Action Congress party.
Deep War Chest
Alhaji Atiku is curently famed as the presidential candidate hopeful to have devoted a deep war chest which no individual in Nigeria's political history can boast of. He had openly declared that the difference between him and President Goodluck Jonathan was his ability to meet the delegates for the national congress of his party, one on one. Only recently some of the candidates from the South-west berated the party leadership for not seeking their opinion before declaring they were going to vote for Jonathan, and this was shortly after meeting Candidate Atiku. Also, the Enugu State House of Assembly was reported to have endorsed Atiku for the on-coming slug fest with Jonathan.
Pro-active Campaign Organisation
Atiku'ss campaign organisation has been adjudged to be so well co-ordinated that even when he was out of the public glare, he kept his vision alive through constant media exposure and visible commentary from that community, a pact he created when as vice president many felt he was being persecuted unjustly by his boss plus his use of the courts to fight back.
Crusader for Constitutionality/Rule of Law
His fight against President Obasanjo and the PDP on core issues of the constitution and the rule of law using the courts, established him as the modern day democrat who has struggled to ensure that the system works in practical terms.
Wide Network of Friends and Associates
He is reputed to have a wide network of friends and associates who are currently rallying round him to make his dream of becoming president come true.
Support from Certain Sections of the North
Atiku carries the emblem of the Northern Leaders Political Forum (NPLF), the old Kaduna Mafia and the grassroots membership of the defunct PDM, all of which suggest he is the candidate of the old Northern establishment.
The former vice president is adjudged to be too desperate for power to the extent he is ready to spend a princely fortune for an individual to get there. His unguarded utterances have turned a source of criticism against him at a time violence, widespread mayhem, and bombings have become the order of the day. Quoting Franz Fanon, he recently said: â€œLet me again send another message to the leadership of this nation, particularly the political leadership, that those who make peaceful changes impossible make violent changes inevitable.â€ His statement incurred the wrath of the public which is growing tired of constant threats from Atiku and the NPLF big wigs.
As vice president in his first term, Alhaji Atiku openly struggled to wrest power from his boss who begged him profusely to allow him contest for a second term, employing the help of Northern traditional rulers. Subsequently, the duo busied themselves using the media to expose their dirty linen in office while Atiku was denied his bid to succeed Obasanjo as president. He left PDP to join the Action Congress as its presidential candidate even as a PDP installed vice president. He has since left the Action Congress back to PDP where he believes the chances are brighter to actualise his dream and may leave the PDP for another party if he fails to clinch the ticket.
Atiku's critics point to the fact that he has many corruption cases, the likes of former EFCC boss Nuhu Ribadu was pursuing, prompted by his boss Obasanjo, and that after the three had left office, he is still being haunted by mention, directly or indirectly, of corrupt practices in far away USA. The PTDF expose between him and Obasanjo was a live issue at the time. His stupendous wealth either as a civil servant or as a politician/vice president carries a question mark.
Atiku is seen as the modern breed of clannish politics because of his emergence and principles in the current dispensation. While Jonathan's advertorials call for a consensus Nigerian candidate, the contrast bespeaks of a Northern consensus candidate, to drive the matter to the fore.
In Nigerian politics, it is hardly heard of that an incumbent was defeated at the polls. The power of incumbency is not in Atiku's favour. As vice president, it would have been easier for him to achieve his dreams, had he been in the good books of Obasanjo as it was in his first three to four years in office.
Unknown to Incumbent State Executives (Governors)
During his tenure as vice president, Alhaji Atiku was the darling of state chief executives most of whom worked with him to ensure that Obasanjo was denied a second term bid and stopped from perpetuating himself in office using the Third Term project. He was the most favoured with former Vice President Alex Ekwueme and largely touted as the next possible candidate in 2003. With the present dispensation of governors, 22 of whom have endorsed Jonathan, he is an alien visitor. To them he is an unknown factor and this includes his stateâ€™s chief executive Murtala Nyako with whom he has a fractious relationship.
Weak Home Base
Atiku and his state governor as well as the PDP Adamawa State chapter, seem to move at variance among themselves. Even his successor and follower Bori Haruna was rated as a non-achiever while in office.
Likely Voting Pattern by Delegates
As the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party looms, CHUKS OKOCHA reviews the number of delegates that will take part in the convention of the party and how they will most likely vote on that day
The south will contribute some 39 percent of the delegates to the party's primary next Thursday
Abia State: The estimated number of delegates stands at about 89 which include the governor and his deputy, three senators and six members of the House of Representatives, eighteen members of the State House of Assembly, 19 local government chairmen and 19 delegates. The state was formerly under the control of the Peoples Progressive Alliance before the governorâ€™s defection to first the All Peoples Grand Alliance and later the PDP with all members of the state and federal legislature. The governor Theodore Orji appears to have a strong grip on the party structures and delegates in the state. He is an unabashed Jonathan loyalist.
Verdict: Jonathan will get most of the votes of Abia delegates.
Enugu State: Enugu State has 94 delegates inclusive of the governor his deputy, three senators and eight members of the House of Representatives, 24 members of the State House of Assembly, seventeen local government chairmen and 17 national delegates. It is too close to call because the State House of Assembly has separately pledged loyalty to both Atiku and Jonathan. The face off between Governor Sullivan Chime led faction and the Nwodo faction, could affect the voting pattern in the state.
Verdict: Too close to call.
Anambra State: This state is governed by an APGA governor. It is expected to have about 81 delegates, but nine members of the House of Representatives have defected to either the Action Congress of Nigeria or APGA. Also one of the three senators has joined the ACN. This has reduced the number of delegates to almost less that 70. The influence of the former governor of Central Bank, Prof. Charles Soludo is considerable in the state, as he is a staunch supporter of Atiku. His other kinsmen, including the former Vice President, Alex Ekwueme are also Atiku backers. The state is still left for grabs by either of the aspirants.
Verdict: Too close to call.
Ebonyi State: The governor is the zonal coordinator of the Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Campaigns. The former governor, Dr. Sam Egwu is however pro-Atiku. The estimated delegatesâ€™ number is about 71, comprising three senators, six members of the House of Representatives, 20 members of the State House of Assembly, and 13 local government chairmen. If the governor wields the big stick as he has done to stop Atiku from coming to the state to campaign and meeting the members of the State House of Assembly, then it is a Jonathan state. But the former governor, Sam Egwu still has considerable influence in the state.
Verdict: Jonathan will most likely take the state
Imo State: The governor is a PDP member and a known supporter of Jonathan, following the pledge made so far to deliver the delegates to Jonathan en bloc. Imo has estimated delegate strength of 114 comprising of 26 members of the House of Assembly, 27 local government chairmen, three senators, the governor and deputy, members of the Board of Trustees, and 27 national delegates. If the permutations are anything to go by, this is a Jonathan state.
Verdict: Over 80 percent of the delegates will vote for Jonathan.
Rivers State: The governor and the deputy are automatic delegates. The total number of estimated delegates is 112 comprising three senators, 13 members of the House of Representatives, 32 members of the State House of Assembly, 22 local government chairmen and 22 national delegates. As part of the â€œson of the soilâ€ syndrome, the state will vote at least 75 percent for Jonathan. Though, in politics, any thing can still happen. Rivers state like other South-south states will massively vote for Jonathan.
Verdict: Jonathan will secure the votes of the delegates in Rivers State.
Akwa Ibom State: The delegate strength of the state is estimated at some 115, comprising the governor and his deputy, three Senators, eight members of the House of Representatives, 26 members of the State House of Assembly. It has also 31 local government chairmen, one Board of Trustees member, one national vice chairman and 31 national delegates. The governor, Godswill Akpabio is a staunch loyalist of the incumbent president and has the party structures firmly under his control.
Verdict: This is a sure banker for Jonathan.
Cross River State: The governor and his deputy are delegates. The estimated delegate strength is about 94 comprising three senators, eight members of the House of Representatives, 21 members of the State Assembly, nineteen local government chairmen, nineteen national delegates and others. The governor is the zonal coordinator of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation. If the permutations are anything to go by, one can say, this is a Jonathan state.
Verdict: Cross River is a no go area for Atiku; Jonathan will sweep the stateâ€™s delegates.
Bayelsa: This is the home state of the president. He is a delegate. The delegate strength is about 57, comprising the governor and his deputy, three senators, five members of the House of Representatives, twenty members of the State House of Assembly. Other delegates are eight local government chairmen and eight national delegates. The governor has been trying hard to convince the president that he is in support of his (Jonathan) candidacy. In this regard, he will do everything possible under the sun to ensure that all the delegates are Jonathanâ€™s, especially now that governors are basking in the automatic ticket euphoria.
Verdict is clear: The home state of the president cannot afford to disappoint and therefore, Jonathan should sleep with his two eyes closed.
Delta State: The euphoria of the visit of President Jonathan campaigning for the re-election of Governor Emmaneul Uduaghan is good enough for pay back time. With a delegate strength of about 113, comprising the governor and his deputy, two senators (one has defected to the ACN), ten members of the House of Representatives, 29 State Assembly members, 25 local government chairmen, and 25 national delegates, it is extremely likely that the delegates of Delta will vote for Jonathan. This will get a boost with early results from the stateâ€™s re-run showing that Uduaghan has a comfortable lead over his main rival Great Ogboru.
Verdict: President Jonathan will take the state.
Edo State: Though governed by the ACN, this is the home state of â€˜Mr. Fix itâ€™, Chief Anthony Anenih. The state has a delegate strength of 66, comprising three senators, and five members of the House of Representatives (it ought to be seven, but two members have defected). The PDP State Assembly membership has also been depleted due to defection to the ACN. But with 18 local government chairmen and national delegates, Anenih is expected to deliver his state to Jonathan.
Verdict: Jonathan by a narrow margin.
Ogun State: The governor and his deputy are automatic delegates. The state has approximately 104 delegates. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is an automatic delegate by virtue of being the chairman of the BoT of the party. The three senators and nine members of the House of Representatives are automatic delegates with the 26 members of the State Assembly. The governor is the zonal chairman of the Jonathan Campaign Organisation in the South-west. All things being equal and following the pledge by the governor to deliver the state during the Jonathanâ€™s declaration and subsequent pledges, it is easy to say that the delegates will vote en masse for the president. This is irrespective of the factional crisis tearing the state apart.
Verdict: At least 75 percent of the delegates will vote for Jonathan.
Oyo State: This is too close to call, though Atiku is expected to make an impact. However, the governor and his deputy are staunch Jonathan men. The governor recently donated more than 64 vehicles to complement the Jonathan campaign. The delegate strength is about 153, comprising two senators. The senate leader Tesilim Folarin may not be able to vote, because he is in prison custody over allegations of murder and conspiracy to commit murder following the death of Lateef Salako (Eleweomo). Other delegates are 20 members of the House of Representatives, 25 members of the State Assembly, and 33 national delegates and local government chairmen. However, any thing can happen due to the factional crisis rocking the state.
Verdict: All things being equal, Jonathan will carry the day.
Lagos State: This is an ACN controlled state. The delegate strength is a mere 69. With twenty local government party chairmen, and 20 national delegates, among others, any thing can happen. Here, Atiku has made a strong showing.
Verdict: Too close to call.
Osun State: Though the governor and deputy have been removed and an ACN governor is in charge, the delegate strength was only reduced by two from 92. It ought to have been 122, but the court nullified the election of 31 local government chairmen. This is a big minus for the state in terms of the number of delegates that can participate in the primary. However, there are still three senators, 16 members of the House of Representatives, and 31 national delegates. The stateâ€™s PDP members, nonetheless, have pledged to support Jonathan.
Verdict: Jonathan will still have an upper hand.
Ekiti and Ondo States are in the hands of the opposition political parties, Labour Party and ACN, but are dominated in the House of Representatives and state houses of assembly by PDP members. Both states have a delegate strength of more than 150. It is uncertain where the delegates from both states would cast their votes, because in spite of the pledge by the zone to support Atiku, some delegates recently assured Atiku of their support, making it any bodyâ€™s game. Without a leader in the form of a governor, both states are like sheep without a shepherd. Any thing could happen.
Verdict: For Ekiti and Ondo, it is too close to call.
In the north, statistics show that the 19 northern states will contribute about 61 percent of the PDP delegates in the presidential primary election
Kwara State: The state is a PDP state with an estimated delegate strength of 86, which comprises the governor, the deputy, three senators, six members of the House of Representatives, 24 State House of Assembly members, 15 elected state chairmen, 15 national delegates, BoT members, and the National Secretary, among others. However, with the recent decamping of the strong man of Kwara politics, Dr. Olusola Saraki, it is doubtful that all the statutory delegates will remain the same. It is not known the number of State House of Assembly and elected council chairmen that decamped with the elder Saraki. Even at that, it is still difficult to predict where Jonathan will get a substantial number of delegates. This is because the governor, who controls the party structures, is a proponent of a northern presidency.
Verdict: Atiku will most like secure most of the delegatesâ€™ votes from Kwara
Kogi State: The governor and his deputy are delegates. Besides, Governor Ibrahim Idris is one governor that has continuously pledged his support for Jonathan. The delegate strength of the state is 96 with three senators, seven members of the House of Representatives, 24 State Assembly members, 21 elected council chairmen and 21 national delegates. If we are to go by the pledge of the governor, this should be a Jonathan state. Other party stalwarts led by former national chairman of the PDP, Dr. Ahmadu Ali are also Jonathan backers.
Verdict: Jonathan will comfortably win the state.
Benue State: The governor of the state is the zonal coordinator of the Jonathan/Sambo Presidential Campaign Organisation. He recently was among the governors that boosted the campaign war chest with N500 million. Benue has a delegate strength of 117, comprising the governor and his deputy, ten House of Representatives members, 27 state legislators, 23 elected local government chairmen, and 23 national delegates.
Verdict: Jonathan will get the votes of Benue delegates.
Nasarawa State: The governor is an ardent supporter of President Jonathan, but it is not certain if he controls the political structures like other governors. The delegate strength is 68 with three senators, four members of the House of Representatives, 20 state legislators, 20 elected council chairmen, and 20 national delegates.
Verdict: Jonathan will get the votes of a majority of delegates from Nasarawa.
Plateau State: Though Governor Jonah Jang has pledged his support for Jonathan, due to internal political wrangling, it is not clear if all the delegates will be available for the presidential primary of the party in Abuja, as some of them who were not favoured in the partyâ€™s sharing formula are planning a defection to another party. The state has an estimated delegate strength of 82 with three senators (some plan to leave the party), and six House of Representatives members. The likes of Yahaya Kwande and Saleh Hassan are still in support of a northern president, but Solomon Lar and his allies are rooting for Jonathan. The state is seen as a strong base for Atiku, but it would be politically naive to give the state to the former vice president. Jonathan will certainly make a strong showing in the state because of the support of the governor.
Verdict: Jonathan will secure victory with a slim margin.
Niger State: The governor who is a close supporter of General Ibrahim Babangida and is the chairman of the Northern Governors Forum, recently made a u-turn to pledge support for Jonathan. However, General Babangida is the lord of the manor in the state. Niger State has an estimated delegate strength of 106, comprising the governor and his deputy, three senators, seven members of the House of Representatives, 25 state legislators, 25 national delegates, and 25 elected council chairmen. Despite the volte face by the governor, it is still too early in the day to give Jonathan a clear victory in the state. Atiku with the support of General Babangida will most likely make an impact in the state.
Verdict: Too close to call.
The Federal Capital Territory: The territory has the least number of delegates. Estimated delegate strength is 22, made up of one senator, two House of Representatives members, and four council chairmen. With the influence of the FCT minister, delegates are certain to vote for Jonathan.
Verdict: Jonathan will take the FCT.
Sokoto State: The governor because of political calculations moved his support to Jonathan recently, but it is not certain if he should be taken seriously, because the state is the seat of the caliphate and champion of the northern presidency. It has an estimated delegate strength of 93, but there is a lot of political undercurrent that could determine where the votes would go.
Verdict: Jonathan may eke out a slim win.
Zamfara State: A latter day convert to PDP and an in-law to General Babangida, the apostle for northern presidency, Governor Mahmud Shinkafi was among the northern governors that pledged support for Jonathan. The stateâ€™s delegate strength is estimated at 70 with the governor and deputy, two senators, five members of the House of Representatives, 16 state legislators, and 16 delegates. All the political heavy weights in the state are rooting for a northern presidency. However, it is uncertain if they will support an Atiku presidency.
Verdict: Zamfara is too close to call.
Kaduna State: Owing to the influence of the vice president and the governor, this is a Jonathan state. It has an estimated delegate strength of 116.
Verdict: Irrespective of the clamour for a northern president, Kaduna will vote for Jonathan.
Katsina State: The governor is the zonal coordinator of the Jonathan/Sambo campaign. He was among the governors that donated N500 million for the support of the president. But most of the stateâ€™s political heavy weights are not with him. He has not been able to summon a meeting of the states under his zone to muster support for Jonathan. But he has severally pledged his support for Jonathan. With an estimated delegate strength of 159, comprising three senators, 15 House of Representatives members, 34 state legislators, 34 national delegates, and elected council chairmen, it is not certain that Atiku will be able to secure a majority win in Katsina.
Verdict: Jonathan will win narrowly.
Jigawa State: The governor and his deputy are playing political games with the northern presidency. The state has an estimated 124 delegate strength. Both Atiku and Jonathan have their supporters in the state. It is still any oneâ€™s game.
Verdict: Too close to call.
Kano State: This is an ANPP-led state. It has a delegate strength of 110. It is a fishing ground for both Jonathan and Atiku, but the former vice president may have the upper hand because of the clamour for a northern president.
Verdict: Too close to call.
Kebbi State: The state is a PDP state, but the governor appears to be losing his political grip on the state, as many politicians of the PDP have left the party to other parties. The delegate strength in Kebbi is put at 118.
Verdict: Too close to call.
Bauchi State: With the influence of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, the FCT Minister and the governor who is the zonal coordinator of the Goodluck/Sambo Campaign Organisation, one can say clearly that Bauchi State is a Jonathan state. But Atiku wields some influence in the state. The delegate strength is 105, though one of the senators of the PDP has moved back to the ACN and others are threatening to defect.
Verdict: Jonathan will get a majority of the votes from Bauchi delegates.
Yobe State: This is an ANPP state, but will most likely be captured by the PDP. The former Minister of Police Affairs, Adamu Maina Waziri is firmly in control in Yobe. It is a state that is guaranteed to vote for Jonathan. It boasts a delegate strength of 49.
Verdict: Jonathan will win Yobe comfortably.
Borno State: This is also an ANPP state, but the governor is in body and soul a supporter of Jonathan. The likes of the Minister of Works, Sanusi Dagash and Kashim Imam are also staunch Jonathan followers. It has estimated delegate strength of 63. But Atiku may have a marginal impact on the delegates from the state.
Verdict: Most Yobe delegates will vote for Jonathan.
Gombe State: The governor has nothing at stake politically as he has completed his eight year tenure. He pledged his support for President Jonathan. The delegate strength in Gombe is 73.
Verdict: Jonathan may win the state by a narrow margin.
Adamawa State: This is the home state of the former vice president. However, Atiku has no control over the party structures in the state. The governor and other political heavy weights like Senator Jubril Aminu, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, and the members of the House of Representatives are pro-Jonathan. The plot is to disgrace the former vice president in his home state. The delegate strength in Adamawa is 93.
Verdict: If care is not taken, Atiku could lose his home state to Jonathan. Too close to call.
Taraba State: The governor and the deputy are ardent supporters of Jonathan. The state has a delegate strength of 86 with three senators, 24 state legislators, 16 local government chairmen, 16 national delegates, and other statutory delegates. With the governorâ€™s support for Jonathan, the president will win at least 75 percent delegates.
Verdict: Jonathan will win comfortably.
The PDP primaries for state governorship elections will be held on January 9, the party said in a statement issued by the ruling party in Nigeria, PDP.
Mr. Nwodo, Chairman PDP
The Associated Press writes that "Incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian southerner, is a favorite for the nomination. But his bid challenges an unwritten party agreement that favors the nomination of a Muslim northerner as the PDP's presidential candidate in 2011.A committee of northern political leaders has already chosen a "consensus" candidate to take on Jonathan." The northern consensus candidate was the former vice president of Nigeria - Abubakar Atiku
BBC reported that "A group of Nigeria's powerful governors have said they will back President Goodluck Jonathan for next year's elections - seen as a major boost to his campaign. Half of the 36 governors backed Mr Jonathan's bid to be selected as the ruling party's candidate.Whoever wins the PDP nomination will be the favourite for the April 2011 poll."