by Dare Lawal
Details are continuing to emerge on what truly transpired in that conference room at the Kano state Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, Abuja.
It has now become clear that although present on the day the new PDP decided to fuse into the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), both Sule Lamido of Jigawa and Babangida Aliyu of Niger chose not to join their fellow “rebel” governors in taking the leap into the All Progressive Congress (APC).
It remains to be seen what would become of the two governors who have maintained very hardline position against the leadership of the party they have chosen to remain with.
According to a source, Aliyu left before votes were cast to determine if they should join the APC. On his own part, Gov. Lamido decided to abstain from voting in support of the merger, calling for more time for the internal crisis to be resolved by Olusegun Obasanjo and some Northern elders.
The two governors who had previously been amenable to moving to the APC, chose to stay put in the PDP for different reasons.
For Lamido, a source said that calls placed to him from the presidency threatened him of the impending doom that awaits him, should he decide to leave the PDP.
“His two sons are under EFCC radar and they will use it to nail and kill his political future, hence his running away from the merger after giving his consent to it,” the source said.
Gov. Aliyu on his part is believed to be in a peculiar situation. According to analyst Gimba Kakanda, “For a governor who couldn’t deliver his state to PDP in the last presidential election, defection may be a dangerous miscalculation. CPC not only won the presidential but also the national assembly elections in Governor Aliyu’s backyard in the last election, so I wonder why we’re going berserk over his, and Lamido’s, betrayal of G-7 partners! “
Speaking further, Kakanda said that “As 2015 approaches, Governor Aliyu’s political future is on the edge of a cliff. First, his senatorial ambition will be mortally shattered by the Gbagyi voters who are very ethnically united, especially in their aversion to a Hausa man’s candidacy. Second, Aliyu’s refusal to defect may be to play PDP’s northern strongman in the rush to 2015, but Governor Lamido is a threat to that dream. Third, being a poor-performing Governor, one who has created too many portfolios to justify Niger state’s inflated recurrent expenditures, unlike Governor Kwankwaso’s managerial prudence, he has every reason to be afraid of the presidency over possible witch-hunt.”
The bottom line at the moment is that the APC now has 16 governors, while the PDP has 18 governors. The Labour party and APGA have one governor apiece.