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How govs 'll pick Obasanjo's successor, VP, others * PDP, ANPP to merge as Kontagora bids for presidency

Posted by By Jide Ajani, Political Editor on 2006/06/05 | Views: 702 |

How govs 'll pick Obasanjo's successor, VP, others * PDP, ANPP to merge as Kontagora bids for presidency


LAGOS-AS the race for the 2007 presidency enters a new phase this week, governors on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will apart from picking a candidate for the office of President, may also choose the Presidential running mate, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

LAGOS-AS the race for the 2007 presidency enters a new phase this week, governors on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) will apart from picking a candidate for the office of President, may also choose the Presidential running mate, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The plan of the governors, Vanguard was told, is to produce a government of national unity. This is said to be informed by the need to move Nigeria a step forward, especially in the face of the ethno-political and religious tension in the land.

In fact, the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP) is already exploring merger talks with the PDP. The talks, which will be concluded soon, are to ensure that the ANPP governors are part of PDP governors’ selection.

Govs elect Presidential candidate, others


Vanguard gathered that the strength of the governors is the possibility of evolving a transparent process which is expected to bring forth a new political regime in the country. The selection of the possible candidates for the listed offices is said to be beyond just the PDP.


It is the belief of the governors that a transparent process is capable of re-positioning the party.

In this emerging scenario, one of the governors who was at last week’s meeting, told Vanguard that the spirit and sense of camaraderie in the fold of the governors today is very strong and capable of bringing about the type of development Nigeria deserves.


According to the governor, who is from the North-West geo-political zone, "the type of understanding being built by the governors is one which is capable of bringing about the much needed ethno-religious integration which Nigeria deserves but which has been lacking over the decades.


"As things are today, with a transparent process, which is what the governors are working on anyway, there is a very strong possibility that the governors are going to produce, amongst themselves, the presidential candidate, vice presidential candidate, Senate president and, possibly, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.


"What the governors are also working on is a situation whereby the president would not be all powerful which has been a major challenge for the Nigerian polity. The fact is, these people are coming from the states and going into the national system which creates a situation for a better understanding."

The governors are expected to come up with their choice later this week.

The committee set up by the governors is headed by Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State.


ANPP, PDP to merge


A Contact Committee is already in place for a possible merger of ANPP with PDP, Vanguard has learnt. The committee is headed by former Director-General of the Nigeria Security Organisation (NSO), Alhaji Umar Shinkafi.


Shinkafi’s Committee, Vanguard was reliably informed, is saddled with the responsibility of brokering the merger arrangement with the PDP.

Shinkafi was the All People’s Party (APP) vice presidential candidate after the party’s working arrangement with the Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the 1999 presidential election.

Vanguard was reliably informed that Gov. Saminu Turaki of Jigawa State is already participating in deliberations to pick a presidential candidate by the PDP governors. He was at the last meeting held in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).


In fact, some other governors of the ANPP are in consultation with their PDP counterparts. Apart from Governor Atahiru Bafarawa of Sokoto State who has already dumped the ANPP for the Democratic Peoples Party (DPP), other ANPP governors in the faction chaired by Governor Bunu Sheriff of Borno State may be on their way to the PDP.


Kontagora vies for presidency


As the search for a successor for President Olusegun Obasanjo in May 2007 intensifies, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Gen. Mamman Kontagora, has offered himself to serve as President.

Speaking yesterday in a telephone interview with Vanguard, Kontagora said it was time for Nigeria to get its priorities right.

He said there was need to keep moving and pushing ahead to realise our leadership potentials in Africa, and be a nation of significance, economically and technologically in the global environment. Nigerians, he said, were a great and highly talented people that needed a talented and visionary leader to ginger them to greater heights, with his belief that "few things are impossible."

The former Minister of Works and Housing, Kontagora expressed hope that democracy had come to stay in Nigeria, stressing the need for more sacrifices for a stable polity.

The Presidential aspirant explained that Nigerians needed food and getting more people engaged in agriculture and agro-based industries would get most of our teeming young and enterprising Nigerians off the streets.

He said he was in the process of designing a programme where interested young enterprising Nigerian graduates would be spared providing collateral for loans after a re-orientation and business training, all these aimed at getting the best out of the millions of young Nigerians.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.