2015: Loyalists Plan Another Jonathan, Obasanjo Parley

There are indications that President Goodluck Jonathan would pay a second private visit to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as part of moves aimed at convincing the former President to revive his membership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with full rhythm.
Specifically, Jonathan, all things being equal, will visit Obasanjo to appeal to him to support his return bid to power in 2015, as the aloofness of the former President to the epic center of politics at the moment is said to be worrying the presidency greatly.
Jonathan had a year ago met with Obasanjo in Abeokuta for a parley which eventually saw the former President making efforts to unite the President with some aggrieved northern PDP governors.
The efforts failed like a pack of cards amid reports that some hawks within the presidency frustrated the process because they felt they could not contain a person like Obasanjo being around the President.
However, the Senate President David Mark and a few chieftains of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had recently visited Obasanjo in his Abeokuta hilltop mansion, where they lobbied him to forgive Jonathan and support his second term bid.
A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu had also paid the former president a visit, where he told newsmen that he was visiting the former chairman of PDP board of trustees to seek his views on his “boys” seeking presidential ticket on the platform of APC.
There are reports that aside loyalists of President Jonathan considered the need to have Obasanjo back into fold very necessary in order to prevent the strong advances of APC towards him for the purpose of retaining the south-west for the party.
Obasanjo who said he remains a member of the PDP has for long been showing sympathy to members of the opposition party whose leadership has been paying him strategic visits one after the other over the past few months.
General Muhammadu Buhari, Alhaji Atiku Abubalkar, Bola Tinubu, APC governors, Speaker of the House of Representatives (though a PDP member) and others have been visiting Obasanjo in his Abeokuta residence to confer with him on crucial political matters.
Jonathan and members of his think-tank have of late been up in arms to ensure that the PDP sweep the usual block votes from south-west, particularly Lagos known to have more than 5 million registered voters.
It is against this background that the think-tank felt that Jonathan’s meeting with Obasanjo would be useful to seal a good deal for ensuring that the south-west come 2015 would go to PDP and not the APC.
Jonathan had a few days ago, travelled to Lagos state to meet with top Yoruba PDP members where he urged members of the party to close ranks with a view to working for the success of the PDP in the south-west zone during the next round of elections in Nigeria.
The meeting with the south-west leaders, according to reports was brokered by former PDP Deputy National Chairman, south-west, Chief Olabode George who is now the leader of Egbe Iyipada Yoruba (The Turnaround Team, South-west).
The group which played a prominent role in putting together the last PDP rally in Lagos has again scheduled a meeting of traditional rulers from the south-west zone to be held at the end of this month at the Oduduwa Hall of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife.
The key agenda of the meeting of the south-west Royal fathers in Ile-Ife, according to reports is the need for the zone to speak with one voice in 2015 amid plans to ensure the return to the main stream of politics in the zone in 2015.
To achieve that, the south-west leaders felt that a support by the zone for the PDP in 2015 would help in addressing the problem of marginalisation of the south-west zone from the epic center of governance in Nigeria after the next general election.
An influential BoT member of the PDP in a chat confirmed the proposed meeting between Jonathan and Obasanjo.
He said, “We are all considering going to see Baba Obasanjo.
“He is our leader any day. We are all happy with the efforts being made by our chairman to ensure that those who are aggrieved with the party are brought back to the party, Obasanjo inclusive.
“It is true that Obasanjo is not happy with some developments that have kept him away from the party; his letter to President Jonathan and the reply he received, coupled with the problems of the PDP in Ogun State.”

Author: News Editor

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