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2007 presidency: Obasanjo endorses gov as successor

Posted by By YINKA FABOWALE on 2006/10/25 | Views: 2646 |

2007 presidency: Obasanjo endorses gov as successor


Vice President Atiku Abubakar and General Ibrahim Babangida may have had the door shut against them as likely presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with a directive Tuesday by President Olusegun Obasanjo to PDP governors to choose one of them to take over from him.

Vice President Atiku Abubakar and General Ibrahim Babangida may have had the door shut against them as likely presidential candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), with a directive Tuesday by President Olusegun Obasanjo to PDP governors to choose one of them to take over from him.

The president reportedly gave the governors the task at a closed door meeting he held with them and other PDP bigwigs in Abuja.
The parley, which started at 2.15p.m. and lasted till about 4.25p.m at Aguda House, had the party’s chairman, board of trustees, Chief Tony Anenih; national chairman, Chief Ahmadu Alli, and scribe Ojo Maduekwe, as well as all PDP governors in attendance.

President Obasanjo was said to have told the governors to pick one of them as his successor, promising to back their choice to become the party flagbearer and president in 2007.

It would not be the first time that the president would saddle the governors with the task.
Earlier in the year, he had given them a similar mandate, which led to the constitution of a panel headed by now suspended Governor Ayodele Fayose to screen those who showed interest in the office. This had encouraged some governors, including Peter Odili (Rivers) Victor Attah (Akwa Ibom), Adamu Abdullahi (Nasarawa) and Ahmed Makarfi (Kaduna) to join the presidential race.
The president’s latest charge to the governors underscores the fact that he has not reneged on his initial resolve.

This, however, technically knocks other presidential aspirants in the party, especially, Atiku and Babangida, seen as front runners.
The president was, however, said to have tied the gesture to a caveat that such a lucky one must be prepared to continue the reform agenda of his administration.
Sources close to the meeting said Obasanjo, who spoke extensively on party discipline and cohesion, also warned that any state chairman of the party, who failed to organise a free and fair primary election would be removed.

The process leading to the emergence of the PDP candidates for the 2007 elections will begin with the ward congress slated for November 4. This will be followed by the party primaries for the state Houses of Assembly polls on November 18, House of Representatives – November 25, Senate – December 2 and governorship – December 9.

The party’s presidential primary will come up on December 16.
The president, it was learnt, also promised to meet with speakers and deputy speakers of the state Houses of Assembly to stem the wave of impeachment blowing across the federation.

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