• MEETS PRESIDENT’S CAMPAIGNERS IN LONDON
•TO FOIST WEAK PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE ON PDP
Lanre Adewole - Abuja
A bi-partisan, bilateral deal to allegedly produce the governor of Gombe State, Ibrahim Hassan Dankwanbo as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential standard-bearer, is reportedly generating intense disquiet in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Sunday Tribune has exclusively learnt.
Interestingly, the governor is not a party to the “loading” arrangement.
He is being worked into it because of his perceived limited national reach and network.
The deal, allegedly facilitated by certain power-brokers pushing the re-election of President Muhammadu Buhari, is said to be giving certain chieftains of the ruling party overnight greying hair, with the deal set to compromise their own relevance and influence.
A leading PDP governor in the southern part of the country (name withheld) is said to be cooperating and collaborating with this wheeling-dealing corner of Buhari’s re-election agenda.
The president said last week he needed more time to make his re-election decision.
Various groups have however engaged in open solicitation to him to seek the office for another four year.
Governors elected on the platform of the party have also urged him to run for re-election.
Sunday Tribune gathered that though the president is yet to make an open declaration, his men are already strategising on how to ensure he doesn’t go the way of his immediate predecessor-in-office, President Goodluck Jonathan, by suffering defeat as the sitting president.
With the perceived unfavourable vote arithmetic in three geopolitical zones of South-West, North-Central and South-South which are high voting areas, strategists close to the president were said to have reached out to the main opposition for a deal that could lead to a perceived “weak” candidate, facing the president in February next year.
The thinking, Sunday Tribune learnt, was that despite the plummeting national popularity of the president, he could still coast home to victory with measurable ease, if PDP’s ticket goes to a candidate without national pedigree and political network.
Dankwambo was the nation’s Accountant General before he ran for governor in Gombe, succeeding Danjuma Goje who is now a stalwart and senator of the APC.
A top source in APC, who was privy to the collaboration, confirmed to Sunday Tribune, the meeting between the Buhari campaigners and the top PDP governor took place in London, United Kingdom.
Three top strategists of the president (names withheld but all from the Northern part of the country) who are also believed to have his ears, allegedly coordinated the meeting, but were not physically present at the said meeting.
The governor was reportedly “in town” (London) for a celebratory engagement and later participated in an intellectual jaw-jaw (venue name withheld).
The open events were said to have been used as a cover-up for the high-profile bi-partisan meeting, where encouraging exploratory talks reportedly took place.
Representatives of the president’s self-appointed strategists, according to findings, are likely to again meet the said governor outside the shores of Nigeria to smoothen the alleged grey areas in the deal.
The governor was allegedly targeted for his massive influence on the “current crop of party leaders.”
He is believed to be positioned in a way to influence the outcome of the main opposition’s presidential primaries to meet the aspiration of the president’s men.
Incidentally, the governor has been projected into the 2019 presidential race by bookmakers, though more realistically, as a running-mate to a candidate from the North.
The governor is also believed to be working on an alliance with a sitting APC governor from the North for a joint ticket.
The governor is rumoured to be on his way to the opposition party.
Dankwambo is also getting decent mentioning in the race, as the only second term PDP governor in the entire North.
The other PDP governor in the North, Taraba’s Darius Ishaku, is on his first term.
While the rapprochement was said to have been well-veiled from PDP’s top-shot, it is known to be an open secret to some leaders of the ruling party and a man-Friday of the president, who isn’t part of the deal, is reportedly fuming, alongside his supporters.
The deal is said to be primed in a way that the opposition leader “without doubt will have an edge over him (Buhari man),” Sunday Tribune source volunteered.
The source added, “They (Buhari campaigners) know [the said Buhari’s man-Friday] is a loose canon. He can scatter whatever they are doing without blinking an eye. Wait and see what will happen if what they are doing, continues”.
The scorned and side-stepped colleague of the Buharists isn’t likely to disappoint, Sunday Tribune learnt, as he had fired a broadside to the shadowy figures, believed to be behind the deal.
In an undisguised contempt for what the personalities represented politically, the said Buharist went after them in an unrelated issue, but in a way to mobilise public opinion against them.
Neither the group nor any of its member replied to the anti-development accusation.
Sunday Tribune source pointed out that it was their internal political and campaign war being fought in governance realm.
If the PDP governor receives federal support over his avowed political enemy, the latter, alongside his political family, despite being of the ruling party, may be permanently extinguished from the political space being contested by the duo.
Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, former Jigawa governor, Sule Lamido are also seeking the PDP’s ticket.
source : http://www.tribuneonlineng.com/2019-pdp ... haris-men/
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